January 09, 2007

Playing Soccer To Alleviate Symptoms of Schizophrenia

An Italian psychiatrist, Dr. Mauro Raffeli, has created a competitive soccer team comprised of patients suffering from schizophrenia and depression.

According to Dr. Raffeli, playing soccer twice a week has significantly reduced the need for psychiatric medication and has helped patients suffering from severe mental illness return to work and reintegrate into society. "Drugs you can often never get off of, but reintegrating into society is as important." Says Raffeli.

Since the formation of Dr. Raffeli's original team, 50 other soccer teams comprised of patients with mental illnesses have sprung up around Italy. However, Dr. Raffeli's is the team to beat. It won the 2006 all-Italy tournament.

A new documentary film has been produced (in Italian) about Dr. Raffeli's team. An article in the UK's Guardian newspaper discusses the new documentary film titled "Matti per il calcio"("Mad About Soccer", or as the Europeans would say, "Mad About Football") about the team. Film-maker, Volfango di Biasi, wants to de-stigmatise illnesses such as schizophrenia via the film. Says di Biasi, "Mental Health sufferers are often locked inside themselves, and football allows them to open up."

Watch the film trailer for the documentary "Matti per il calcio", below. The film trailer is in Italian, but its still good to watch even if you don't understand Italian. Our hats are off to the Italians for starting this soccer league - it would be great if groups in North America and around Europe did the same.

Read the Article: Football tackles schizophrenia and depression

Special thanks to Tim^ for finding the article for us.

YouTube Source of video: film trailer


Does anyone have some good therapuetic recreation ideas for a brand new private program for the SPMI pop?

Also need staff with experience in community based for this population.

Posted by: Layne Meacham at August 30, 2007 09:39 PM

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Posted by: Nicola at June 15, 2008 03:27 PM

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