Radio Atlántida

Radio Atlántida

Organisation Fundación INTRAS
Target Group People with mental health issues  

The idea to make a radio show addressing people with mental health issues came to mind because we wanted to generate a space for expression. Inspired by other radio experiences (Radio Nicosia from Barcelona, Spain, and Radio La Colifata from Buenos Aires, Argentina), INTRAS started to run radio workshops in Toro (Zamora, Spain) as part of the rehabilitation process, trying to offer people with mental health issues the necessary opportunities to get involved in cultural and leisure time activities.These workshops were designed to occupy periods of free-time and leisure in exciting, fun and creative ways, although the focus was on empowering them by improving their verbal communication skills and helping them to cope with frustration, anxiety or impulsion always in a good mood and with sense of humour. 

Based on this idea, since 2011 a group of 5 adults with mental health issues and a social worker, as a facilitator, record a radio programme twice a week. During the radio broadcast, they discuss different topics and organize diverse activities such as: planning the structure of the slots, group discussions at round tables, reading articles and books, film festivals shows, cover some local news, record commercial breaks and radio slot on sports, films or cooking. The idea is that people with mental health issues can “recover” their voice, their space, and go out from invisibility. Through the radio they are individuals and not only “users”, they are the protagonists of their own lives and of what they want to say. The professionals leading the broadcast play a very important role as they are intermediaries between people. They work at the frontier, where there is a meeting between fears of people with mental health issues, fears to speak, to communicate, to express themselves. 

Two open spaces have been created around radio in Toro: Radio Workshops and Radio Broadcast. 

Radio Workshops

They started in spring 2011 as a space to learn about specific techniques and about the use of the media (words, silence, reading, thinking, expressing emotions and feelings, pauses, timing, rhythm, respecting opinions, knowing other experiences). 60 users of the Day Care Centre in Toro have participated in the workshops and they are collaborating in the building. A group of 10 people are willing to collaborate rather often and to maintain the Radio Broadcast. 4 people out of these 10 have competences to be radio broadcasters. As an open space, the workshops is an example of different actions, events, interviews and visits that INTRAS runs throughout the year. To ensure the participation of a maximum number of users, we looked at the motivations of every single person in order to take into account the interests and particularities of each person and exploit them to their full potential - for example: dreams, good morning session, poetry collection, song collection, news, interviews, horoscope, sports… 

Radio Broadcast

Our main objective is, on the one side, that the program is sustainable to ensure continuity; and on the other, that the people with mental illness use the space themselves. The space is at the service of the users, and not the opposite. Through this experience, we realized that radio broadcasting can be used as an innovative and creative way of contributing to the concept of inclusion. By giving persons with a disability specific skills and competences (through radio workshops and broadcasting workshops) these competence are put into real broadcasting practice where they can express their feelings, ideas and being involved in cultural and leisure time activities which contribute to their individual development. Giving them a voice in real broadcasting contributes to a better understanding of persons with mental health issues and their as well their inclusion in an innovative daily life-activity.

Staff and

1 Teacher 
2 Trainers 
1 Animator 
Duration Since November 2015 to the present, across the year. 
Budget Budget for the construction of cajóns, technical salaries and expenses with traveling for presentations in different shows. 
Contact /more information   Manager Director - Pablo Gómez:
Contact person - Henar Conde: