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Giorgia Soleri and the importance of normalizing mental health

"Mental illness is treated like any other," and the "psychologist bonus" is a first step

Giorgia Soleri and the importance of normalizing mental health Mental illness is treated like any other, and the psychologist bonus is a first step

Giorgia Soleri is free. Free not to shave, free to be more than just a famous rock star's girlfriend, free to fight for what she believes in and to be a spokesperson for all those who daily experience pain in the shadows. A writer, photographer, activist and spokesperson for the battles for the recognition of vulvodynia and pudendal neuropathy pathologies, the 26-year-old Roman woman told 7 - Corriere della Sera about herself without filters, revealing even the most private and darkest moments of her life. During the interview she talked about La signorina nessuno, her recently published first book of poems, the painful divorce between her parents, the abortion she had to face at age 21 and depression:

"I attempted suicide. I was depressed but didn't know it, as happens to so many people. Depression also has its signs but they can be different from person to person. I was always in bed, what could have stimulated me no longer did. Then I tried to take my own life. I had reached the zero point, I could only rise or succumb. My mother saved me: they notified her, she came and picked me up, took me to her house, and I stayed there two months. Again drugs, hopes, some illusions. The malaise that little by little gives way to a form of lucidity. How I wish these stories of mine were useful to someone."

Fundamental in the ascent was her mother's support, but also therapy and medication:

"Today I understand that it is all connected: the depression I suffered from, the pain, the yearning for freedom, the abortion at 21, the feminist path. I oscillate between darkness and light, between the instinct to hide and the instinct to free myself, even of clothes. Of course, in 2017 I hit rock bottom and saved myself by the skin of my teeth."

Giorgia once again talked about mental health during her participation in the Giffoni Film Festival. Soleri recalled that mental health and its treatment is still one of the most stigmatized issues in contemporary society and stressed the importance of normalizing the treatment and use of drugs, beginning not to call them psychotropic drugs, but simply medications. This is how we refer to pharmacological treatments for other parts of the body. In common parlance we do not say cardiopharmaceuticals or headpharmaceuticals, so why do we need to add the prefix "psycho" for those intended to treat the mind? 

We need to keep repeating it until it is a normal and acquired concept for everyone: mental illnesses are health problems like any other, which is why, if need be, they should also be treated by following appropriate drug therapies. And from today it may be easier to do so. From July 25 until October 24, 2022, one can fill out an application for the so-called "psychologist bonus" at the Inps. People with an Isee within 50 thousand euros are entitled to it (according to a ranking drawn up on the basis of the order of arrival of the application), and the bonus can be worth up to 600 euros per person to support the costs of psychotherapy. Just go to the official website of the Inps and follow the path: "Benefits and Services"; "Services"; "Point of access to non-pension benefits." Alternatively, one can call from landline free of charge 803.164 or from mobile network 06.164164. Once the application is submitted, the Inps will notify the outcome, providing a unique code, a kind of prepaid card to be used within 180 days at the professional chosen by the user among those registered with the Order of Psychologists.