Feeling heard when you’re struggling and knowing when and where to find help is crucial for those in need of mental health assistance. For many who have transplanted to Italy, it can feel overwhelming to be outside of what’s familiar, but Florence caters to its international community with English-speaking professionals who are ready to give guidance.
The Ordine Psicologi Toscana has recently emphasized the drastic increase in need for services prioritizing mental health. President of the professional body, Maria Antonietta Gulino, commented, “This is an emergency within an emergency. The virus and containment measures have forced us into social distancing and isolation, putting a strain on relational life. This fourth wave has created a further relational fracture, affecting not only our bodies, but also our psyche.” A regional law has been proposed to provide a psychologist alongside general practitioners through the public system in order to better address the crisis.
Florence-based American psychologist Mary Ann Bellini echoed this concern, stressing the need for focus on mental health. “There’s been a noted increase in requests for therapy and counselling for disorders that came out—or perhaps were already present and that have now increased—such as anxiety, panic disorders, depression, disordered eating and excessive consumption of alcohol. These problems become something to really notice when they become intense and disturbing to your daily life. Two things are very important: making mental health a priority and being aware of what’s happening; how is our mood, how do we feel, are there some changes that we notice, and then trying to prevent these changes from becoming more aggravated and more difficult to handle. We want to prevent that as soon as we can. Reach out for help, whether it’s talking to a family member, partner, a good friend, a family doctor, or of course, seeking therapy with a qualified therapist or counsellor”
Mary Ann Bellini, individual, couple and family therapy. Also available for online sessions. T: +39 339 5705988, firstname.lastname@example.org, lungarno Cellini 25
Matteo Defraia, clinical psychologist and Gestalt psychotherapist in piazza Alberti. T: +39 340 2732298, email@example.com, www.officinagestalt.com
Elizabeth Connolly, experienced in individual, couple and family counselling. T: +39 346 6577690, firstname.lastname@example.org
Paolo Molino, clinical psychologist practicing in English, French and Spanish.
T: +39 331 1064726, via Verdi 7, email@example.com, www.paolomolino.com
Camilla Jackson, relationship support. firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Many study-abroad programmes in Florence offer campus services and resources for students.
The Misericordia psychiatric and psychological clinic provides many services.
Tages Onlus for Foreigners is an English-speaking clinical centre with psychology, psychotherapy and psychiatry services. T: 055 679037, firstname.lastname@example.org.