The impact of the pandemic on mental health is clear. The increase in stress and other problems resulting from the strains of the past two years have been felt universally. However, for many, these issues have impacted – and continue to impact – daily life, especially when coupled with culture shock and the inevitable challenges of moving to a new country.
When packing for an adventure to foreign shores, it’s normal to feel some excitement mixed with anxiety, as it’s impossible to fully anticipate everything that awaits you. Couple that with a pandemic and it’s completely understandable that services like Tages Onlus, a mental health center in Florence, has seen a noticeable increase in service requests. Tages Onlus consists of a team of mental health professionals (Tages for Foreigners) specifically dedicated to English-speaking clients.
President of the Tages for foreigners, Dr Simone Cheli, commented: “We are a team of three therapists, a psychiatrist and two psychologists. Once the pandemic arrived, we expected a reduction in service demands and instead saw an increase, particularly from students arriving during the pandemic who were dealing with culture shock and stress, as well as the pandemic and social isolation”. The English-speaking team tackles these issues in his studio in via della Torretta 14, while also offering online services that are particularly useful for those who wish to continue their care once they return home.
Tages for Foreigners brings together health care, psychology, social interventions and education, the multidisciplinary team offering evidence-based interventions tailored to client demands and needs. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), compassion-focused therapy (CFT), and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) are some of the approaches taken. Personalized psychiatric and psychological assessment and medication management are also offered, with adult-focused services and advice on where to seek help elsewhere for minors.
Although several mental health professionals are available, Rates for foreigners is the only multidisciplinary team in Florence.
The center is also dedicated to research, explains Cheli. “We have published many articles on how to support people, for example, gifted students enrolled in very competitive doctoral programs or people with a high level of perfectionism. We also help parents who are struggling when living abroad with children during a pandemic. We are a charity committed to research, training and clinical intervention and carry out many projects. For example, we are currently running a national project offering communication training to hospitals in Italy.
If you are navigating life abroad while dealing with mental health issues, services are available here to address and treat these issues, with a professional team available a short distance from the center of Florence, or even in line to your home.
Tages Onlus Florence is located in via della Torretta 14. [email protected]T:055 679 037.