The Spanish yoghurt farm that cultivates better mental health | Free Malaysia Today

OLOT: High up in the remote hills of Catalonia, workers carefully stacked crates of yoghurt pots and diligently stuck labels on jars for one of Spain’s most successful – and unusual – dairies, where nearly half the staff have mental health problems.

For decades, La Fageda, meaning The Beech Forest in Catalan, has been employing people with mental health conditions, like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, to help them find purpose in life and greater emotional stability.

“Normally those with schizophrenia inspire fear – people don’t know how they are going to act,” said Albert Riera, a spokesman for the pioneering social business, some 120km northeast of Barcelona.

“At La Fageda, these people don’t have a label – they are totally integrated – and they start improving, reconstructing themselves without any intervention.”

Finding and holding on to paid work is often a challenge for people with mental health problems because of stigma and misunderstanding of the recovery process, according to the World Heath Organisation.
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