Take care of each other and ourselves

Mental health
On the 10th of October we celebrated the world’s mental health day. Caring for our mental health can be difficult at the best of times. Often, our lives are so full of varying stresses, responsibilities and alternative focuses that caring for our own mental health, and that of those around us, can drop to the bottom of our priority lists. 
This day was a reminder that, though common, mental health difficulties often go unspoken about or unrecognized, even sometimes by the people experiencing them, for a plethora of reasons; shame, cultural or societal expectations, a lack of awareness and many more.
At OHF we had a week of activities and sessions delving into the topic of mental health, with the aim of spreading understanding and awareness.
Though this world mental health day is important to place focus and conversation on such a crucial topic, we remember of course that mental health is relevant on every day, not just that special day! 

An important visit
This month, our incredible team-care psychologists, Ivan, Dorothee and Verena, paid us a visit here in Athens to lead an activity-filled team building evening with the OHF team and members of our partner organizations. 
Team members from Glocal Roots, Lighthouse Relief, Meaalofa, Drop in the Ocean and OHF all came together with the aim of strengthening our internal community network and getting to know each other, whilst also discussing our plans and intentions for the future of Victoria Community Centre. 
Thank you, Ivan and Dorothee, for facilitating such an important session and giving us the time and space to continue building our professional relationships, whilst reflecting on our work so as to further improve what we offer at the centre!

Our Partner: International Rescue Committee
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is another of our wonderful partners, and their MHPSS Programme operates from Victoria Community Centre in Athens. 
They aim to support the vulnerable adult population, refugees, asylum seekers and migrants residing in the urban area. Their interventions focus on the empowerment and the recovery of individuals, families and communities that suffer from mental distress, social exclusion, discrimination, stigma, abandonment, and other mental health difficulties. Within the centre, IRC also facilitates capacity building sessions and training!
On Victoria Community Centre, IRC stated: ‘We are happy to see the constant increase of the impact that the Victoria Community Centre has in the refugee community in Athens. We strongly believe that the multidimensional aspects of the services that the operating actors provide, promote the engagement and the commitment of the community to our services.’ We couldn’t agree more!
To find out more about the specific ways in which IRC supports displaced persons and the community, go to International Rescue committee.

Backyard gathering
Last week, OHF and our partner organizations came together in our colorful backyard (avoiding the rooftop winds!) to again meet each other, share ideas and strengthen internal connections. We’ve had some new team members join in a few different organizations, so it’s a perfect way to introduce everyone and make sure everyone feels welcome.