Wikipedia describes the social skills as follows: “A social skill is any skill facilitating interaction and communication with others. Social rules and relations are created, communicated, and changed in verbal and nonverbal ways. The process of learning these skills is called socialization”.
Social abilities used to be damaged as a consequence of having a mental illness. Sometimes the mental illness comes very early in the life of a person and he/she doesn’t have the opportunity to train them; sometimes the social stigma attached to the illness prevent from the right development of these social abilities; other times it is because the illness itself. Whatever the reason is, it is undoubtedly that the lack of social abilities is a serious problem for the real integration/reintegration into society. Indeed, the psychosocial rehabilitation model mostly followed nowadays (Liberman, 1993) establishes the rehabilitation of the social skills as one of the main pillars of the rehabilitation process.
There are several ways to train social skills, for instance, through sports, theatre, regular contact with animals, etc. In the Chic & Craft project we have developed a collection of short exercises and reflection sessions to enhance six key areas that need to be reinforced in most of the cases: leadership, team work, motivation, self-confidence, communication and concentration. These skills are needed to play the role of peer mentor during the chic & Craft fashion designing training course, as they have to constantly communicate, advise, motivate and work with their colleagues. We hope that this easy guideline really helps in the recovery process of our clients/users.