"... for the planned introduction of the method Deep Democracy as an important communication tool for our citizens with mental illness in general and especially for people with autism spectrum disorders. During the pre-planning of the project, the method was used with a target group ad politicians with very good results." - Camilla Eklund-Hagel, Department of Social Services Halmstad Municipality Sweden
I am honored and deeply appreciative of the initiative that is taking place in Halmstad, a municipality in Sweden. I have been invited to be involved with a special project in relation to the mentally ill in Halmstad. The Civis project is a social company that provides the infrastructure and support to enable people who have been diagnosed on the autistic spectrum, to re-enter the work force. The Lewis Method will be used and adapted to tackle the major challenges of overcoming the communication and interrelationship obstacles facing these people. As the Civis Project grows it will become duplicated and spread throughout Sweden. The aim is to employ as many people as possible effected by mental illness and reengage them in the work force and society thereby empowering and improving their lifestyle and their mental health.
The work has spread to the Health System in Canada through Georgina Veldhorst an instructor and who uses the Method extensively in her role as Health Care Executive and Senor Director of Planning, Integration and Community Engagement of Crown Corporation local health integration network, which plans and manages the health system for 1.8 million people.
In 2001 the Lewis Method was used by HIV/AID volunteer lay counsellors (all of who were HIV positive) and who were critical in educating and promoting the use of anti-retroviral programs in the densely HIV infected communities.
The adapted Method has continued to be used by people specifically trained in various NGO programs dealing with mental health eg. Child and adolescent care; POWA (Protection of Women against violence and abuse), addictions, family and marital centres, etc. in South Africa, UK, Sweden, Turkey and in Australia. I support and often supervise this growing number of people.