The Root – Association on Women, Addiction and Mental Health
The objectives of The Root are to promote public discussion on issues relating to women, addiction, mental health, trauma and violence, and to back up programs aimed specifically at the treatment of women with addiction related problems. The Root encourages cooperation between institutions, organisations and other professionals involved in the treatment of addiction, violence and trauma, and intends to gather information and promote the processing of existing data, as well as to contribute to studies in this field for the benefit of women. The aim is also to gather knowledge, give lectures, take part in conferences and seminars, alone or in cooperation with other associations or institutions, and to initiate discussions on issues relating to addiction, especially concerning women.
Empowerment—Evidence based practices—Diversity
The Root was established in the spring of 2013 by a group of women in Iceland eager to seek knowledge and instigate a change of course in the field of addiction treatment in Iceland and be a forum for critical discussions on women, addiction and violence, both for women with addiction problems, their relations and professionals.
The Icelandic treatment system has been closely linked to the Minnesota model treatment program which is built on the principles of AA – Alcoholics Anonymous. The founders of the Root are of the opinion that the treatment industry is unable to perform its services without basing it on research, which is almost non-existent at the moment in Iceland. Treatment that is not based on evidence based practices and an empowering ideology is not fit for 21st century health services.
The Root also emphasizes the necessity for diverse solutions and a holistic approach where trauma history and other conditions are treated together, in accordance with the recommendations of the World Health Organisation – WHO.
- Monthly lectures and discussions by highly qualified lecturers on women, addiction, violence and health
- Various inquiries have been sent to the ministers of Welfare and Justice, Directorate of Health and other state institutions
- Published articles and been guests of the media
- Visited treatment institutions
- Visited ministers, the parliament’s Welfare Committee and other state institutions
- Demanded reform of the education of Addiction Councilors
- Given opinion on parliamentary resolutions
- Started a sponsor program for young mothers with addiction problems in cooperation with Landspítali – The National University Hospital of Iceland
- Held a conference on women, addiction, trauma and treatment, in cooperation with the Institute of Gender Research at the University of Iceland, and other organisations, 1-2 September 2015. The keynote speaker was Dr. Stephanie Covington. Further information: https://rikk.hi.is/dagskra/haust-2015/conference-on-women-addiction-trauma-and-treatment/.
- In March 2016 the Root sent a submission to the Universal Periodic review of Iceland made by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The introduction letter is here http://www.rotin.is/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/UPR_IndividualSubmission_TheRoot_IS_2016_information_letter.pdf and the Root’s submission is here: http://www.rotin.is/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/UPR_IndividualSubmission_TheRoot_IS_2016.pdf.
- Take initiative and cooperate with the University of Iceland in addiction research programs
- Translate and publish articles and books
- Work on international networking with similar associations