‘Soul reduction’: On Greek island, bees assist individuals with psychological well being points
On a hillside overlooking the crystal blue waters of Greece’s Leros island, a small team of workers in protecting gear are busy smoking beehives.
However these will not be abnormal beekeepers — a few of them are sufferers from the close by psychiatric hospital, taking part in a two-decade challenge combining remedy with skilled fulfilment.
The social cooperative in Leros, housed in a former barracks generally known as the Caserma property, is the primary of its sort in Greece.
The cooperative “goals to socially and professionally combine individuals with psychosocial issues”, challenge supervisor and occupational therapist Andreas Georgiou mentioned. “By means of the programme […] they purchase self-respect and shallowness.”
On the fields of the property, sufferers take care of the bees and domesticate their high-quality food plan — lavender, oregano and different fragrant herbs.
“It is a bee’s paradise,” Georgiou mentioned.
In Lepida, to the south of the port, the workers pack and label the honey, and dry the herbs in devoted rooms contained in the psychiatric hospital. The property produce is then offered in numerous areas on the island.
“I really like what I do right here, it is an actual reduction for the soul,” Artemis, a affected person in his 60s mentioned as he sealed honey jars. “We attempt to be as conventional and pure right here as doable.”
The Leros cooperative employs 13 salaried staff, supervised by specialist beekeepers, along with a crew of nurses and occupational therapists from the island’s psychiatric hospital.
Whereas some sufferers dwell within the asylum, a big quantity are allowed to dwell in flats on the island for higher integration into society.
A handful of individuals have been in a position to make a full rehabilitation via the cooperative, Georgiou mentioned.