The Sunrise Project

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The Malta Trust Foundation initially embarked on a mental health community-based project particularly to assist Gozitan young people suffering from mental health difficulties to lead an independent quality of life in 2018 together with the collaboration of the Gozo Mental Health Association, Richmond Foundation and The Department of Psychiatry within the Ministry for Health.

Scientific research has established that in Malta’s sister island of Gozo, it is estimated that 7,800 individuals out of a population of 33,000 individuals, will at some point in their lives, experience mental health difficulties.

Gozo has limited mental health services, when compared to Malta.  In fact, there are only two Mental Health Professionals working in the health care system at the General Hospital.  These two Mental Health Professionals have not only to work at the hospital, but also support individuals suffering mental health in the community.  

Gozo has also suffered from rapid socio-economic changes in recent years, which have impacted the community and created more challenges.

The unfortunate stigma of mental health in Gozo is even more challenging than in Malta, due to the small size and population density of the island.

In this regard, the Malta Trust Foundation, for the past two years, has led a community based mental health service, primarily for young people.  This service reaches out to persons who would otherwise find it difficult to go to hospital for support, because of the associated stigma. This service also assists them to manage their lives in their own environment and to reduce admissions into hospital.  It is essentially a proactive and preventive service.

Aims and Objectives:

The service provides:

•       Practical and emotional support;

•       Short/medium/long-term rehabilitative care at home;

•       Information and brief interventions;

•       Liaison with primary and secondary health services;

•       Psychosocial education; and

•       Opportunities to enhance personal, social and leisure skills.                                            

Within a year from commencement of this project, the Richmond Foundation’s mental health welfare officer employed on this project of The Malta Trust Foundation had a full case load on a continuous basis. 

All service-users are compliant with treatment and this is a remarkable success, since one of the aims of this service is to support the service-users to comply with treatment.   

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