Poland

November 2018

Overview of Blue Cross Poland

  • Launched in 2001, but the tasks were carried out under a different name since 1997.
  • Main goal: to help people who are going through a life crisis, mainly due to addiction related problems.
  • Run eight centers, where help to addicted persons and their family members is provided. Among them are rehabilitation centres, outpatient clinics, and a mediation centre.
  • Involved in organising events aimed at professionals whose work is focused on education or providing help to others.
  • Develops prevention area by visiting schools and running workshops for children, parents and teachers.
  • Over 120 workers (therapists, psychologists, nurses, physicians, lawyers, administration workers, maintenace workers).  Volunteers provide support in creative areas, like photography, decoration and cooking.

Q&A with Ewa Duda, Addiction Therapist and Conference Coordinator

Eva Duda

1. Why is the work of the Blue Cross important to you?

The mission statement of our Polish branch is to help people in life crisis situations according to the Christian worldview; substance or behavioural addiction and related problems are such crisis situations. One does not need to be a professional to notice that there is a growing number of people with mental problems. Some of them are addictions, and in this sphere we are observing a rise in the number of people escaping through work, gambling, excessive exercise, sexual behaviours, spending time in virtual reality. People are simply looking for something to help them feel better. But it actually enslaves them, and God’s plan for His beloved creation – human beings – is the opposite. Being close to the broken hearted and helping them to change their lives is something very precious to me.

2. Are you convinced of the impact of your work - if so, which aspects?

Yes, I am! I am not reinventing a wheel, but we often forget how important it is to listen. Just to be there, ready to hear the story of somebody’s pain sometimes ask an eye-opening question, sometimes to comfort, and sometimes to motivate the person to keep up their work. I feel privileged to be a companion in a person’s journey to  new life. One of the most inspiring moments is seeing the progress in thinking, acting and living of the people I work with.

3. What was your happiest moment during your time with Blue Cross?

A few weeks ago we were discussing the topic of happiness and its meaning with the residents of our rehab centre. The conclusion was that it is not happiness that is important, but rather the state of being content.  So it is hard to just name one moment and call it the happiest – but there are many occasions when I feel blessed to be doing what I do. Some of them are related to the successes of our clients; to see their lives changing, sobering and thriving is a great reward. But I also enjoy working among self-aware and well-trained professionals who are passionate about their work, and are simply great people! The opportunity to improve my skills and develop personally is no less important. All in all, I feel content working for BC and that’s what matters to me.

4. What is/was your biggest challenge in your work for Blue Cross?

The biggest challenge – and a big advantage, at the same time – is the variety of work possible within BC. On one hand it is something I do enjoy and it gives me a lot of satisfaction. On the other hand, it is sometimes difficult to synchronise everything. And sometimes it is simply fair to admit, “well, not this time – we have to let this new opportunity go, otherwise, we’ll not be able to make it.” I find such decisions very hard to make.

5. Blue Cross in your country: What do you consider your most important project?

As BC Poland we have been involved in the work within substance dependence and related problems. In 2012, we officially started a cooperation with the Fund for Solving Gambling Problems. Since then, this area of work has been constantly growing. Also because behavioural addictions are on the rise, so more and more people need help. Young, digital generations will bring us even more clients. This is why I think we have to reach out to the schools – students, parents and teachers need to know what can bring them probelms and to prevent them. To be honest, I think all of the projects are equally important because they provide integrated and holistic support. We may see a problem in one place, but its root is somewhere else.