Cyprus – Services for adults with mental handicap

To read on Christos Stelios Ioannou Foundation website:

Services in Cyprus

170 adults with moderate and mild mental handicap from all over Cyprus attend on a daily basis the Joannou Foundation.

Other 40 people approximately, former students of the Foundation, who work in the free market, benefit from the support and follow up services of the rehabilitation group.

Most of these people are 18-40 years old, with moderate mental handicap the majority of whom are men (57%). Around 40 of them, who cannot travel daily to and from their home, reside from Monday to Friday in the Residence Halls of the Foundation, whereas 15 others reside in small housing units integrated into society.

A relatively large number of the people that study at the Foundation presents chromosomal disorders, with Down Syndrome being more often, and (29%) other syndromes, like the Prader-Willi, Fragile X, and being more rare, while other in smaller numbers, in addition to their mental deficiency, they present problems like autistic behaviour, epileptic seizures, physical handicaps, speech, disorders etc.

Due to the various problems they present, but also generally to the state of their health, 34% of the inmates of the Foundation are on a medication on a permanent basis.

In general, all people studying at the Foundation, are people who take care of themselves, do not face serious behaviour problems, and are in a position, with the suitable education, to acquire knowledge and skills which will allow them to become financially useful and be integrated without problems into their immediate and wider social environment.

In addition to the services provided by the Foundation, the competent services of the state, offer socio-economic support which include a monthly Public Allowance.


Philosophy Principles

The philosophy upon which the Foundation is based is to approach people with mental handicap as individuals with needs, feelings, rights, abilities and interests, as well as responsibilities.

Every person is confronted as a unique entity with their own idiosyncrasies and individuality. The principles of individualisation and normalisation comprise the very essence of the Foundation and ensure that « levelling » and « institutionalisation » are avoided. The aim is to develop the full potential of each individual and to provide opportunities for a qualitatively better life within society.

A unique particularity of the Foundation is the effort to satisfy all the needs of each person with a mental handicap, with high standard of services, which never however cease to be human.

This is achieved with the multi-disciplinary approach, in which specialists of various expertise, as members of the multi-scientific group, but each one from his own post, try to help every person independently to overcome his problems, satisfy his needs and develop his capabilities.


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