Social suffering and mental health in metropolitan athens
a qualitative approach
Modern metropolises have now transformed into anonymous zones without history, similar to anywhere else in the world, overcrowded with various people who do not know each other and who have never come into contact. Social inequalities in such environments and the consequent social exclusion have a negative effect on health, mental health and the well-being of the population. The aim of this study is to explore social exclusion in metropolitan Athens and in particular to record its socio-demographic profile, its self-image, experiences of social racism and health problems for the homeless in the centre of the Greek capital. The homeless characterise themselves as unfortunate and unlucky, and some have experienced others as being indifferent towards them or have suffered social racism, while others have described a completely positive response from others. At the same time, they have quite a few health problems, and almost one in two has a clear sense of sadness and stress. A major percentage also report substance and alcohol abuse, while quite a few appear to use alcohol as a form of self-treatment. In conclusion, the city generates alienation, fear, insecurity and unhappiness. Every community ought to use any resources it has to implement organised policies and create social networks to address the complex needs that arise.
Stylianidis, S. , Evangelia Peppou, L. (2016)., Social suffering and mental health in metropolitan athens: a qualitative approach, in S. Stylianidis (ed.), Social and community psychiatry, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 133-143.
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