To explain about mental health care system in Trieste, and how it changed completely with the arrival of Franco Basaglia as the director of the Psychiatric Hospital in San Giovanni. To understand the causes of the first closure in the world of a psychiatric hospital.
We started with the guided tour in the entrance of the Parco di San Giovanni, where members of the Associazione di Franco Basaglia gave us an explanation of the background in mental health before 1950s in Trieste. Then we walked around the park while the tour guides gave us more information about the negative aspects of the psychiatric hospital in the past. In the middle of the park, the guides started talking about Franco Basaglia and the start of the positive changes that he made in the psychiatric hospital around 1970 as director of the hospital. We saw some things used in the past for the mental hospital patients, for example a bed that was built as a cage made for not allowing patients to get out. In the same building of these horrible things, we saw a copy of the famous Marco Cavallo. A sculpture design by a patient that was used as a symbol of freedom that patients deserved during their stay in the psychiatric hospital. At the end of the tour, the members of the Franco Basaglia Association played a documentary with more details about the change between the old mental health care system and the new one. We learned about how psychiatric hospitals are not really necessary and how mental health can be treated from the patients home and other more efficient methods that respect the rights of the human being.
The Erasmus were really excited about the tour before and after the event. A few participants even applied as members of the Franco Basaglia Association because of the impact that Franco Basaglia left in San Giovanni. The good weather and the friendliness of the members of the Franco Basaglia Association ended up improving the quality of the visit to the Parco di San Giovanni.