In many world cultures, people with mental illness symptoms used to be considered as the chosen ones, medicine people or healers. They used to hold important positions in their community, sometimes they even used to become political leaders. They were always acting as privileged persons representing mediators between human beings and the world of Ghosts or Gods.

In our society the people with the mental illness have always been labelled as crazyand pushed aside to the society periphery. Their world seems mysterious and incomprehensible to many people. In times of enlightenment period huge institutions have started to arise at suburbs of towns where mentally ill people were to be treated – and put away from the sight of the public at the same time.

These practices started to be gradually abolished in the western world during the sixties of the last century. In our country, even in the 21st century, the outdated tradition of huge psychiatric institutions still exists. Although some of them have gradually become parts of towns in the process of their enlargement, however the fear of strange people who live there for a long time still survives in minds of many people.

Only very slowly is asserted the idea that people with mental illness do not need the long-term internment in isolation and under continuous medical supervision in hospitals.  Instead - and above all - they need a complex and effective support throughout their life path. In many cases the oddity of people with the from mental illness does not necessarily have to come from their illness but often it is a side-effect of their medication.

Sadly enough, many journalists contribute to a negative image of people with mental illness, as well. Based on media cases and rare tragic events they in fact empower the myths concerning mental illnesses.

Fokus Association together with other organizations, experts and laymen, has been fighting incessantly against the false image and stigmatizing view of people suffering from mental illness. We protects their rights for life in dignity without prejudices. It develops activities to influence both the legislation and the public opinion.

During months of September and October, in the framework of Mental Health Weeks campaign, we strive to inform broad public as best as possible on the issues of mental illness, mental hygiene as a prevention of mental illness and activities pursued by organizations in social and health care field. We organize cultural events, happenings and discussions; we also contribute to professional and popular publications. We provide the talented people with mental illness experience with the opportunity for their self-expressions. We organize their exhibitions, concerts, theater performances and disseminate their literary works.

We joined to the capmaign "Each of us is part of the solution" organized by Mental Health Europe and we are promoting the campaign in the Czech republic. 

Films concerning mental health represent an important part of campaigns against stigma.  In cooperation with partner organization  Art Movement, we participated on creation of „Parallel lives“ - a documentary film which captures current situation in the field of psychiatric care both abroad, and in our country.