St. Joseph Health Centre (CSSJ) is one of the Assistance Centres, owned by the Portuguese Province of the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God, which provides care in the areas of Mental Health (Psychiatry and Psychosocial Rehabilitation) and Integrated Continued Care (Medium-Term Care and Rehabilitation; Long-Term Care and Maintenance).
The facilities are spread across the districts of Braga (Areias de Vilar - Barcelos Unit) and Viana do Castelo (Gelfa Health Unit and Melgaço Health Unit).
In Areias de Vilar, within 1-km away from the Barcelos-Braga national highway, in a rural environment where nature, tradition and culture meet, the Mental Health unit (Psychiatry and Psychosocial Rehabilitation) was opened in 1957.
Patients in the mental health area are distributed among four Long-term Care Units, two of which are of Moderate Care and two Maximum Care, also integrating a service equivalent to the Autonomy Training Residence.
In this Centre, the focus has been on the overall recovery or the maintenance of the psychological and/or social aspects of the patients, through interventions defined in the scope of Psychosocial Rehabilitation. This includes a comprehensive vision of the patient, in which the technical skills of the multidisciplinary team and the involvement with the family and patients themselves, allow for individualised care embodied in Individual Intervention Plans with the objective of responding to needs identified.
Since it was created and, essentially due to its location within the Areias de Vilar community, inpatients have always had a very close contact with the neighbouring population, which allowed them to maintain a good level of social skills.
The experience acquired over 60 years, combined with the best clinical practices and the promotion of values of human dignity and solidarity, make St. Joseph Health Centre a leading institution as an intervention model in Mental Health and Continued Care.
Since its foundation, it has sought continuous improvement of processes, from an integral perspective, which has been a management priority, seeking to keep alive the humanist character of the founder, St. John of God.
Since 2013, it has expanded its presence to the district of Viana do Castelo, more specifically to Âncora, Caminha, building a continued care facility - Gelfa Health Unit - Long-Term Care and Maintenance.
The intervention in this area of care and social support was consolidated with the opening, in 2016, of the Melgaço Health Unit, as Medium-Term Care and Rehabilitation; Long-Term Care and Maintenance. This includes the conversion of half of the facility within the Gelfa Health Unit in 2018, to Medium-Term Care and Rehabilitation.
Besides the classic hospital services that should exist in institutions in the areas in which St. Joseph Health Centre operates (doctors, nursing, psychology, social work, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and socio-cultural entertainment), the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Service and the Pastoral Health Care and Animation Team are highly importante in a holistic approach to patients.
A history of over six decades is time enough to reach maturity, in people and in "things". St. Joseph Health Centre has already attained them. The complementary character and working ways of the different directors over the years have resulted in a work that exists to this day and that wants to continue growing and updating, in an environment that prioritises continuous commitment to society.
- Psychosocial Rehabilitation Service
- Pastoral Health and Animation
- Occupational Activities Workshop
- Ergotherapy activities
- Sports activities
- NEA SYKI Socio-Educational Project