The Mavi At Cafe project can be linked to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as Goal-3: Good Health and Well-Being and Goal-10: Reduced Inequalities. Individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia in the Mavi At Cafe are infused into society. People come to the cafe to chat with patients, patients take orders, patients go out of the cafe and pay the bill. In fact, patients realize that they exist. In other words, patients are given the opportunity to work so that individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia are not differentiated from other people and thus inequality is eliminated.
BETÜL SENA DOLU
Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University
The Federation of Schizophrenia Associations was founded in 2006. There are currently 9 different associations in different cities (Izmir, Istanbul, Ankara, Gaziantep, Izmit, Elazig).
The Federation has many activities and projects. The most important one is the project of integration of schizophrenic people with the society. The aim of this project is to prove that individuals with a diagnosis of schizophrenia can work and to break prejudices. Within the scope of this project, Mavi At Cafe was opened in 2009 in the center of the city for this purpose.
When Mavi At Cafe was opened in 2009 with 18 diagnosed individuals, the aim was to bring these individuals into society, to rehabilitate them, and to break the taboos about schizophrenia and to raise awareness. For this purpose, patients started to work in this cafe and made a big change in their own lives. Here, patients have shown that individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia can continue their daily lives and fulfill the responsibilities given by taking orders, helping to clean the cafe, and undertaking other daily tasks of the cafe. For these reasons, Mavi At Cafe serves to Goal-3: Good Health and Well-Being and Goal-10: Reduced Inequalities of the UN SDGs.
Mavi At Cafe was opened to show that schizophrenia patients can work, reflect their abilities and to break the stigma and discrimination about schizophrenia. People diagnosed with schizophrenia and their relatives, volunteers and mental health professionals came together to support the opening of this cafe.
President of the Federation of Schizophrenia Associations Assoc. Dr. Haldun Soygür explains the story of the name Mavi At (Blue Horse) as follows:
"In the past, there were situations such as the closure of schizophrenic patients to mental hospitals. The idea of living together in the society occurred at the end of the last century. In the years when this perception was dominant, great mental hospitals were closed all over the world and the understanding of 'treatment in society' settled. One of them is the big mental hospital in Trieste, Italy. When the hospital was closed, a Mavi At (Blue Horse) sculpture was made from the blue board where the hospital was destroyed. This Mavi At was running there and we called this cafe Mavi At to run here."
As an indication of a great success, in the last decade, 14 individuals were recruited. These recruited patients include agricultural engineers, mechanical engineers, lawyers and individuals who have completed two universities. They started to work in the private and public sectors through the states disabled test.
Here, patients had the opportunity to work within a business sector. Thus, as individuals with schizophrenia diagnosed as having work, they set an example for both other patients and other business sectors.
Thanks to Mavi At Cafe, great progress was observed in the recovery of patients with schizophrenia. Also patients have proved to themselves and the community that they are no different in the work environment compared to other people.
A number of activities are carried out to cover the expenses of the cafe. To give an example; they organize symposiums and training, and second-hand book selling. Likewise, a part of the cafe consists of vintage products. Mavi At Cafe is close to many universities, so university students can buy these products at affordable prices. Volga Taşkent , who is also a patient and employee of the cafe, contributes to the cafe by painting and selling t-shirts as well.
The reform of Mavi At’s foundation began in Trieste, Italy. For this reason, a close relationship is established with the Italians. Turks went Italia, Italians came to Turkey. Italians were in a workshop in Turkey at the end of June. They have a radio broadcast 24 hours a day; Radio Fragole. But they only broadcast on the internet. It is planned to establish Mavi At Radio in Turkey, as the development target in the future. Work will begin to establish a radio like Fragole in Turkey. Everyone will have an opportunity work according to their interest on this radio. (singing, joking etc.) For example, a schizophrenic patient can come and tell his/her opinion. Mavi At Cafe’s personnel are trying to provide the necessary equipment for this.
In this café, patients become aware of themselves and their illnesses and participate in life. Unlike schizophrenic patients who spend the whole day at home, the patients working at Mavi At Cafe take over the work of the café during the day.
Patients are involved in the preparation of food and beverages, reservations, service to tables, dishwashing, cleaning, meeting organizations, sale of second-hand goods. As a result of these, patients achieved a goal here, became responsible and motivated. They realized that they could reach someone when they needed support and that they were cared.
The customers of Mavi At Cafe overcame their fears and worries about schizophrenia by communicating with patients and feeling their sincerity. Thus, Mavi At Cafe destroyed the community's prejudices about schizophrenic patients.
MERAL TAŞKENT, Manager
Keep this story going! Share below!
ANKARA, ÇANKAYA, TR
Business Website: http://sizofrenifederasyonu.org/
Year Founded: 2009
Number of Employees: 11 to 50
Mavi At Cafe is a project initiated by the Federation of Schizophredinia Associations. Only schizophrenic patients works in this cafe, which is a first in Turkey. Mavi At Cafe was opened in Ankara in 2009 with 18 individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia as a work environment and a rehabilitation center. Mavi At Cafe is not only a cafe, it is a kind of cultural living environment, meeting point for these patients and their families.