If you or someone you know is showing signs of mental health issues, you can get help from medical professionals, charities and associations in Andalucia
Anyone with concerns about mental health – whether their own or that of others – should take action sooner rather than later. That is the message from local charities, associations, the British Consulate and medical and legal professions who met recently at the Pablo Picasso Cultural Centre in Torremolinos.
The messages from the experts are clear:
Obtaining appropriate treatment for mental health conditions can significantly improve quality of life
You can seek help for family and friends of sufferers, as well as for sufferers themselves
If you have language difficulties, some medical professionals in Spain do speak English
Giving power of attorney to a spouse or family member can help prevent problems in future
Representatives of AFA – the Asociación de Familiares de Alzheimer – which has recently opened a day centre in Fuengirola – highlight the importance of treating patients with mental health conditions, as it can significantly improve quality of life and possibly even life expectancy. They also stress the role that family and friends can play:
Family support is vital for those who are unwell, especially because often they may be totally dependent on relatives. That’s why many associations who offer help consider the family as important as the person themselves.
Meanwhile psychiatrist Dr. Juan Galán advises how patients can overcome problems in understanding their diagnosis because of language differences:
To overcome such difficulties, it is essential to try to find a doctor with whom you can communicate in English. There aren’t many English speaking psychiatrists in Spain but they do exist.
Legal advisor Mrs. Sandra Wrightson explains issues around wills, capacity and guardianships:
Signing a power of attorney in favour of a spouse or family member may help prevent problems in the future if someone loses their capacity to administer their own affairs. Without a power of attorney in place you will need legal advice about applying for a guardianship order or Orden de Tutela.
You can find more information on many more aspects of living in Spain in the following link.