EM-MA: EMotional MAnagement exercises for adults

For years, the magnitude of the mental health problems have been overshadowed by other public health matters. Every year over one in four European adults are affected by mental health problems. Annually, mental illnesses lead to 58 000 suicides in Europe. The estimated number of Europeans that have suffered from major depression is 18.4 millions and from specific phobias 18.5 million within the past 12 months. 4.3 % of all deaths in the EU-28 in 2016 resulted from mental and behavioural disorders. In 2016, 14 % of all hospital beds in the EU-28 were psychiatric care beds. The proportion of people who had depressive disorders was higher for women than for men in each of the EU Member States. In Spain 12% of people aged 45 and over report chronic depression. In Poland its 6% and in UK 11% (EUROSTAT data; For more information please see the “Context Analysis” annex).

Permacultura Cantabria has trained about 1,000 people in the field of emotional management in the last 5 years. 95% of them reported the problem of emotional tension; This comes from the previous experiences related to mechanisms of suppressing emotions, taught as part of the socialization process and which affects our well-being and ability to interact. Being unable to identify and express needs leads to a state of frustration, anger and loneliness.

Some of the adult trainers and adult people necessities detected in our focus group research are:

-Worry for the mental health state of our communities
-Lack of tools to improve the mental health of the adult community members
-Need of increasing their level of awareness about the importance of emotional management both in personal and professional environment
-Fear of burning out as an adult trainer and lack of tools to prevent this process
-Need of increasing their ability to manage the integration and inclusion processes
-Need of developing new methods for working with disadvantaged groups
-Strong preference of working in an organization that contributes positively to the society
-Interest in emotional management
-Interest in developing innovative methods for working with disadvantaged groups
-Profound need of connecting with other members of the community
-Interest in applying the emotional management tools in private lives
-Need for increasing their levels of motivation, self-esteem and self empowerment
-Need to know more about defining new Erasmus+ initiatives and projects in collaboration with other entities
-Need of increasing their capacity of collective intelligence, participative leadership, group and creative processes.

Objectives of the project:

PO1. Improve the management of emotions in the adult training process, which in consequence will positively impact the quality of their learning, inclusion and employment
possibilities. Providing attractive training, higher quality work and responding to the needs of adults will benefit both them and adult trainers, especially less favoured groups with difficulties in learning, integrating and employment.

PO2. Expanding knowledge on managing emotions in participating organizations.
2 participatory visits to provide training on how to transfer the emotional management knowledge onto those disadvantaged groups. This knowledge will later enrich the Emotional Exercise Book.

PO3. Provide basic emotional management tools in non-formal education to adults and adult trainers in form of the Emotional Exercise Book. The Book will compile information gathered during the 3 training activities; It will adopt the disadvantaged groups focus and explain key emotional management tools and exercises, help understand its importance in everyday life, work and training, and explain the relationship between human behaviour and hormones, as well as the relationship between social problems and methods used for tension relief.

PO4. Contribute to achieving high quality non-formal adult education by raising awareness of the importance of emotional management in this sector, especially targeting its decision makers.The participants will conduct internal workshops for those of the adult learners, adult trainers, organisation workers, decision makers of the non-formal learner community and other parties interested in the emotional management.

PO5. To facilitate the access to the new, improved emotional management techniques to other adult trainers and adults from the whole Europe Dissemination campaign, which will target adults, adult trainers and decision makers from the non-formal education sector; It will focus on disseminating the IO and the results of the
project. The project needs to be implemented in international cooperation because only the European context, including sharing training experiences, knowledge and practice working everyday with disadvantaged adult groups will grant us the full achievement of its goals. This project will become a part of the Euromotional network, initiated by Permacultura Cantabria, which will further increase its impact.

We will start the management tasks notifying the project parters as soon as the project is approved, including:

-Preparing and sending the internal agreement to the project partners, which will include a working plan, task distribution, responsibilities of each party, deadlines, indicators for each
outcome and all the necessary documentation for reporting.
-Activities designed for dissemination and monitoring. More about those in the relevant section.
-Participants selection process, defined in section “Participants”

For this project, we planed the following Transnational Activities:

1st Transnational Meeting: Permacultura Cantabria (Spain)
2nd Transnational Meeting: AWA (Poland)
3rd Transnational Meeting: ELN (UK)
1st Learning Activity: TC in Spain (Permacultura Cantabria)
2nd Learning Activity: Participatory Visit in Poland (AWA)
3rd Learning Activity: Participatory Visit in the UK (ELN)

Each hosting organisation will be responsible for the logistics behind the visit in their country. Their tasks will include:

-support: the hosting organization will provide the participants infopacks (best ways of transportation, venue of the activity, country’s information, etc.) as well as the activity details. The Coordinator of the hosting organisation will answer the participant ́s questions and further support them so they could arrive safely to the venue of the activity.

-accommodation arrangements: the hosting organization will book an accommodation apt for facilitating the mobility of people with special needs, etc.

-kitchen service: the hosting organization will be responsible for collecting special dietary needs of the participants (plant-based diets, food allergies) and provide them with 3 meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) accordingly.

-safety measures: the hosting organization will establish safety measures in order to avoid any accidents:

-Forbid the consumption of substances that alter behaviour or perception
-Have an open space for smokers
-Have a first aid box and a 24 hours day vehicle in case an emergency transfer is necessary
-Have personnel with experience in first aid
-Define an evacuation program and provide it to the participants upon their arrival
-Show areas or elements that could be dangerous (if any), as well as the exits of the installations
-Avoiding high-risk activities or exposure to hazardous locations or environments that may affect participants’ health;
-Ask participants before their arrival to provide information regarding their healthy issues as well as the phone number of a contact person in case of emergency. This information will be given to all the trainers, as well as the hostel staff.

Tasks of each sending organisation will include:

-booking transportation tickets for the participants to get to the activity venue
-issuing insurance for each participant and ensuring they hold a valid EHIC card.

Each participant will receive a necessary preparation before a learning activity they will take part in:

-tasks preparation: the adult trainer Project Coordinator of each organization will arrange meetings with the participants in order to prepare all the tasks of the project.
-linguistic preparation: the official working language of the project will be English. Each participant will be supported by the main Project Coordinators in order to ensure they are as comfortable and active during the activity as possible, by issuing the Europass Language Passport. This will allow to analyse the actual level of English of each participant and take action accordingly (grammar, vocabulary or conversation classes and/or language tools, depending on the individual needs of each participant).
-pedagogical preparation: Activities here will include preparing and sending out an infopack with the essential information about the project. Each participants group will also meet face to face with the Coordinator and become informed about the project details (IO, learning activities, transnational meetings, etc).

The IO planned for this project will be an interactive Emotional Exercise Book. On the one hand, it will be a guide to the emotional management, introducing and explaining tools such as active listening or emotional discharge. On the other hand, it will be a practical workbook, containing exercises each reader will be able to conduct at their own pace and time, which will help him or her to understand how emotional management works, how they are being influenced by not managing their emotions properly and how it transfers to different environments (work, family, self-construct, etc.)
The book will adopt a multidisciplinary approach, integrating scientific, educational and social perspectives. The base of the book will be the tools and approaches for emotional management, provided by PC will be further enriched by insights, which will emerge from applying the emotional managements tools by the adult trainers in their daily work with disadvantaged groups of adults (AWA and ELN). The intersectionality of the book will allow it ́s users to cover cases of mixed nature (for working with people of different backgrounds).

The book will be completely digitized, which, apart from its attractive graphic design, will improve its reception by the target groups. It will contain videos and links for the relevant web content. It will be readable from any electronic device or as a printed traditional paper version copy, so that it can be used by many adults and adult trainers (for example, in public libraries, social centres and organizations that work with adults).
The guide will develop the emotional management competences and skills of adult trainers and adults, improving the quality of their activities and trainings, from the point of view of inclusion, violence prevention, academic and work success, as well as the personal and social integrity of adult learners.

The book will have at least 110 pages, covering the following chapters (please note that this is not the final version of the chapter list. It will be modified after the Participative Visits will have finished):

1.Introduction: information about the main goal and context in which the book will be framed.

2.Our mind: It will explain how experiences are stored in our minds and what happens when we are not able to process what is occurring in our lives. It will give useful keys and tools to help process that information.

3.Feelings: It will explain the different types of feelings. It will explain in detail feelings that are chronic and become distressful for human beings.

4. Emotions: It will explain the four main forms of emotional discharge (crying, yawning, laughing and trembling).

5.Hormonal balance and Emotional Management: Emotional discharges (crying, yawning, laughter and trembling) interfere deeply in the alterations of the hormonal balance. Being aware of this influence is very important to understand our neural and emotional processes.

6.Distressful feelings: It explains how the unprocessed information after a distressful situation can deeply affect us.

7.Social Oppression: This chapter discuss racism, sexism, adultism, classism, mental health oppression, and the exclusion of people with physical disabilities.

8.Emotional Balance: It goes deep into other aspects of human well-being that directly affect emotional balance, such as diet, rest, exercise, good relationships, etc.

9.Tools and good practices: There are many different tools available to carry out a good emotional management. In this chapter, at least eight strategies on how to work in groups will be analysed.

10.Development of the ability of listening and participating: This chapter will guide those who want to work on emotional management with adults. It will coach their skills regarding active listening, participative sessions and support groups.

11.Difficulties and challenges: There is a lot of resistance and difficulties when implementing strategies for emotional management. It is important that this manual counts on with some of the most common difficulties and the best ways to overcome them.

Each chapter will be followed by a sub-chapter with exercises designed to help to internalize the newly gained knowledge. The book will also contain a QR code, scanning which will lead the reader to a satisfaction survey, to measure it ́s impact among the readers. It ́s important to point out that at the stage of writing this application we did not know the characteristics of the improvements and modifications of the emotional management tools provided by Permacultura Cantabria proposed by ELN and AWA, therefore it was impossible to include specific chapter names and explain their content in the above-mentioned list. This will be determined jointly by all the partners once the two Participatory Visits will finish. The final product will be written in English, as it ́s the official language of this project. The final version will be translated into Spanish and Polish.

  • C1: Training course in Spain

-Date: January 2021
-Phase:Knowledge and Skills Acquisition Phase
-Leader Organization: Permacultura Cantabria
-Task coordinator: Oscar Argumosa

The objective of the activity is to transfer the emotional management tools and approaches to the adult trainers and adult participants of ELN, AWA and Permacultura Cantabria. This will be the responsibility of Permacultura Cantabria and it ́s adult trainers staff, who are experts in emotional management. The knowledge that the participants will gain during this course will be essential for the proper development of the rest of the learning activities and for the creation of the IO.

The activity will take place in Permacultura Cantabria ́s installations in Ramales de la Victoria, Spain. It will be 8 days long. Each organisation will send 10 adult trainers and adult participants to the activity (30 people in total).

  • C2: Participatory visit in Poland

– Date: April 2021
– Phase: Knowledge and Skills Acquisition Phase
-Leader Organization:AWA
-Task coordinator: Monika Sobanska

The objective of this Visit is to provide a training on how to adapt and apply the emotional management tools and practices to the AWA ́s principal target groups, that is women. The adaptation of the emotional management principles will emerge from their daily use by AWA ́s adult trainers in their work with adult women. The organisation will recompile their observations, findings and conclusions and will transfer them onto the rest of partner organisations in order to include them in the IO. For this reason, this visit will be attended by the IO developers.

It will be 3 days long.

  • C3: Participatory visit in the UK

Date: July 2021
Phase: Knowledge and Skills Acquisition
-Leader Organization: ELN
-Task coordinator: Rajesh Pathak
-Place: UK

The objective of this Visit is to provide a training on how to adapt and apply the emotional management tools and practices to the ELN ́s principal target groups, adults with less opportunities. The adaptation of the emotional management principles will emerge from their daily use by ELN ́s adult trainers in their work with adult people. The organisation will recompile their observations, findings and conclusions and will transfer them onto the rest of partner organisations in order to include them in the IO. For this reason, this visit will be attended by the IO developers.

It will be 3 days long

  • 1st Transnational Meeting

A Kick Off meeting will be held in Spain (Ramales de la Victoria) during October 2020. It will mark the official start of the preparation phase of the project, and serve as a meeting platform for us. The 3 partners involved will review the project proposal evaluation, working plan, task distribution and deadlines assigned to each participant, in order to make the necessary adjustments. The final approved budget will be also explained. The partners will also review the participants selection process. In addition, the organizations will also familiarize themselves with the venue of the TC in Spain.

  • 2nd Transnational meeting

By the beginning of September 2021, approximately in the middle of the project, we will held an intermediate transnational meeting in Sosnowiec (Poland). The purpose of this meeting is to carry out an intermediate evaluationof the first part of the project and review the Creation of Intellectual output phase. Also, activities such as dissemination, preparation, reports’ preparation, budget available, etc. will be discussed. We will discuss ideas for the Didactic Material Structure And Contents task. As a summary, we will compile a SWOT matrix, detailing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, at this stage of the project. The SWOT analysis will be particularly useful in adjusting the dissemination strategy, involving new stakeholders that are a key to the project. The information obtained during the meeting will be also used to ascertain the preliminary results of the project, which will be shown to the community in the dissemination campaign.

  • 3rd Transnational meeting

Just before the end of the project (August 2022) we will meet in the UK to close the final project evaluation process. In order to evaluate the tasks carried out in the project, the following topics will be discussed: the course of each stage of the project, the level of achievement of intended goals and results, any problems encountered during the project and solutions found for them, or the level of satisfaction and assimilation of knowledge and skills among project participants reflecting their overall assessment. At the end of the meeting, the possibilities of further cooperation in the field of working on emotions in the future will be discussed.

  • Multiplier event 1

1 day long local conference will be organized in the UK by ELN

  • Multiplier event 2

1 day long local conference will be organized in Spain by Permacultura Cantabria

  • Multiplier event 3

1 day long local conference will be organized in Poland by AWA

The main objective of these conferences is to disseminate the intellectual output developed throughout the project: interactive Emotional Exercises Book.

They will be aimed at involving different people with an interest in the emotional management and the improvements and modifications made by the Partnership regarding its application in work with disadvantaged adult groups, such as adult trainers, adult learners, decision-makers from the local non-formal education community, civic activists from adult organizations, experts, volunteers, institutions responsible for educational adult policy in Spain. 40 participants are estimated to attend the events.

According to their role in the activities, two groups were distinguished among the participants:

Group 1: composed of 2 Coordinators (Project Coordinator and Dissemination Coordinator); Each of the partner organizations chose Coordinators according to their personal experience interests and physical ability to fully engage in activities planned for this project (some employees of the adult education sector are related to earlier employees commitments; This project requires full and undivided attention of the Coordinators). They will take part in the Transnational Meetings, to ensure the proper management of the project.

Group 2: Intellectual output developers. They will attend the Participative Visits in Poland and UK, to witness first-hand the improvements and adaptations of the emotional management principles to the needs and preferences of the groups of vulnerable adults (women, adults with less opportunities). They have been selected before submitting the project as we needed their expertise for planning the IO creation correctly.

The criteria we were led by are listed below:

-Research and analysis capacity
-Commitment and motivation to elaborate intellectual output.
-Experience in the development of interactive books
-Writing experience
-Ability to innovate
-Ability to travel to the transnational learning activities

Group 3: Adult participants and adult trainers from our organizations from UK, Spain and Poland, who will attend the TC in Spain.
The selection of participants from group 3 requires a more complicated process; The project was conceived so as to serve adults and their communities, so its program, activities and ÍO have been designed taking into account their needs. The participant profile has appeared naturally during preparatory videoconferences held by project partners, along with the needs that have been identified for this target group: adults and adult trainers from the participating entities, interested in improving their personal and professional situation and acquiring knowledge about emotional management. We will be looking for an open and enthusiastic attitude, high motivation to learn and willingness to apply the acquired knowledge in practice, because these features increase active participation, allowing all parties to fully engage and enjoy the planned activities. High level of motivation will guarantee further dissemination of the results of this project through further cooperation with the members of the Partnership and more active participation in the society. We will look for adults open to international exchange of ideas (with a sufficiently high level of English). In addition, we will pay special attention to the gender balance and the cultural diversity of participants. Priority in selecting participants will be given to people from disadvantaged groups and those with fewer opportunities for sustainable development. Project Coordinator from each organisation will act as a link between the entity and the participants, providing support and assistance when necessary.

Each entity will be responsible for announcing the activity and disseminating it among their contacts and social networks. Applications will be assessed individually in line with pre-established requirements to create a group with the greatest cultural and social variety.

Notification of results

We will contact all applicants, regardless of the output their application might have. Each of the applicants will be able to appeal against the decision; The appeals will be considered by the Project Coordinator for each organization, he or she will also organize the meeting with the selected participants to inform them about the project.

ADULT TRAINERS AND ADULT PEOPLE WHO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROJECT:

-will have known more about the human psychology, and how emotional management can do to improve the quality of living of the adult community members, therefore worry less about their mental health state,
-will have Increased their level of awareness about the importance of emotional management both in personal and professional environment
-will have obtained tools and knowledge to improve the mental health state of the members of their communities,
-will have increased their ability to manage the integration and inclusion processes, especially for the integration and inclusion of adult people with fewer opportunities,
-will have obtained knowledge and tools to prevent burning out as an adult trainer,
-will have known how to develop new methods for working with disadvantaged groups,
-will have known how to connect deeply with other members of the society and the adults they work with,
-will have known more about the emotional management,
-will have known more about the ways of emotional discharge and how to manage them,
-will have known how to apply the emotional management tools in their private lives (family, friends, self-improvement),
-will have increased their capacity of collective intelligence, participative leadership, group and creative processes,
-will have known how to develop innovative methods for working with disadvantaged groups,
-will have known how to improve the ways the adult groups benefit from the activities offered by the adult trainers,
-will have participated in the emotional management training and/or read the interactive Emotional Exercice Book
–will have increased their capacity to innovate
-will have increased their capacity to contribute with new initiatives ideas to their organisation, which in turn contributes more to the society
-will have increased their motivation, self-esteem and self-empowerment
-will have reinforced their capacity in defining new Erasmus+ projects in collaboration.

OUR STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP AS A TEAM:

-will have contributed to foster emotional management in adult people in their countries
-will have contributed to help adult people in being part of initiatives and activities crafted to foster emotional management
-will have added emotional management as part of the cornerstones of each organisation
-will have reinforced their knowledge to help adults to manage their emotions
-will become reference organizations in emotional management in their respective countries
-will have improved their capacities to raise awareness about the importance of the emotional management
-will have established healthy and long-term relationships among members of different organizations.
-will know the possibilities of collaboration offered by the Erasmus +.

 

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