Supporting and monitoring mutual aid groups and organizations in Barcelona

Joan R. Villalbi, Francina Roca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper we present our experience of supporting self-help groups and organizations over a period of five years in the city of Barcelona, Spain. Although previously the impression was that little self-help activity existed in Southern European countries, our research showed the existence of many mutual aid groups and organizations in Barcelona. Support activities of our Division have included awareness raising, dissemination of concepts, publications, training, compilation and publication of self-help group directories, linking, netwarking, helping new groups to get started, practical help, and some financial support. Over the last five years mutual-aid groups and organizations have under gone a steady growth, and 68 mutual aid groups and 87 organizations, covering 50 different topics related to health were inventoried in the 1991 directory. Although part of this growth can be attributed to our efforts, much of it is spontaneous. The reasons for the differ ences in patterns of self across different countries are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-288
Number of pages6
JournalHealth promotion international
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992


  • Health promotion
  • International comparisons
  • Self-help
  • Self-help groups

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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