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Grants:Project/Rapid/Wikitherapy for psychiatric patients/Report

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Report accepted
This report for a Rapid Grant approved in FY 2018-19 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • To read the approved grant submission describing the plan for this project, please visit Grants:Project/Rapid/Wikitherapy for psychiatric patients.
  • You may still comment on this report on its discussion page, or visit the discussion page to read the discussion about this report.
  • You are welcome to Email rapidgrants at wikimedia dot org at any time if you have questions or concerns about this report.


Did you meet your goals? Are you happy with how the project went?

The main goal of this Wikiprojectwas to encourage patients at the hospital to create and increase the number of articles on Wikiquote in Spanish by enabling them to improve the quality of the content of famous phrases. Although only two users stayed in the course, I am very happy with the results. It is very difficult to obtain referrals and much more that the psychiatric patients remain and commit themselves to the work. The patients browse the web mostly to visit social networks or listen to music but this was the first time that they added content to the web so they felt very happy.

Patients responded pretty well with a approach that facilitated patients learning. The classes gave them possibilities to make mistakes and correct them and that improved their confidence in their abilities. As I said earlier, the importance of this project lie on the social imprint that means the inclusion of this population and the increase of awareness and the understanding of the Wikimedia projects among professionals, not in the amount of articles created. This is a type of therapy that aims to strengthen the healthy aspects of the mental patient. I've been working with the healthy part of the patients. I feel very glad because this project has been growing, the fact that there are editors interested in doing it in other countries (Spain and India) it is a sample of it.


The work included sending notifications, meetings with the staff, putting a banner at the entrance of the computer laboratory at the hospital, to ask referral of patients, making the online follow-up in Wikiquote supervising patients's editions to encourage progress and get feedback, documentating the process, editing the video and creating Learning Patterns. I was exploring and identifying the interests of the participants, explaining them Wikimedia's mission, teaching them basics of editing, formatting and explaining them how to add citations with small and manageable tasks every class.

Not all mental pathologies are good for this kind of work. That's why I had to be very careful when choosing potential participants. I accepted 4 participants but only two remained. Initially four participants started the course. Four was the maximum number I accepted. But two never managed to edit, because they left before, since they got sick and were not able to attend. Working inside a hospital can be very frustrating because sometimes classes are interrupted because someone comes to pick up the patient to give him/her medication or to call him/her for another activity or because at that very moment his/her doctor wants to interview him/her.

Things that seem very easy for us, normal people, for a psychiatric patient can be very difficult to understand. Many times, several classes were necessary so that later they could edit a single sentence. Sometimes, the patients continued working at home.

That they could remember later something that they learned in class, I think that is a success because I could generate interest in continuing researching and looking for material at home. I hope some of them keep his job as an editor.

I wanted at least 12 new articles created but only 11 new articles were created in Wikiquote, which still is a lot in a project in which at this moment we have only two permanent editors who are mainly dedicated to maintenance and undo vandalism. Moreover, the quality of 24 Wikiquote's articles were improved.

I finally could finish the video, which you can see here: Video of Wikiquote at the hospital.

I am preparing an article for the blog of the foundation and an article for my own blog.

I also have been contacted from people from Spain and India who are interested in starting this project in their respective countries and I am advising them.

I also have created learning patterns:

You can see the Dashboard with results: Dashboard


Projects do not always go according to plan. Sharing what you learned can help you and others plan similar projects in the future. Help the movement learn from your experience by answering the following questions:

  • What worked well?

The support of our editors in Wikiquote and the good atmosphere that was generated. We have little movement in Wikiquote so 11 new articles it is a very positive thing.

  • What did not work so well?

The bureaucratic procedures were so many that I feel tired. I spent a lot of time before the course. The interviews with the staff were frustrating. Each time a patient was referred to me I had to interview him or her with questions regarding their expectations for the workshop. Some patients who participated in the course did not dare to create articles. Only two participants stayed and worked well. You have to consider that these are patients with mental illness. It is much the work of the previous one, a lot of the work off line to achieve that one article can be created.

WMF did not gave me the grant and I had to work anyway without knowing if they would pay me or not. The problem was that getting to be able to give the course involves a lot of bureaucracy and time. I had to present the project to the Chief of Unit, once approved by him the project passes to the Head of Department, then passes to the Teaching and Research Committee of the Hospital. Once approved by the Committee it must be approved by the Ethics Committee of the Ministry and then countersigned by the Hospital Director. This process was initiated before I applied for the grant. Otherwise it would be impossible to give a course. Once all this process was finished, I could not refuse to give the course. It took a long time reviewing my grant proposal but I am happy that finally they could do it and approved it.

Despite interacting with the wikiquote editors, none of the patients changed their social isolation.

  • What would you do differently next time?

I would wait to know if the grant is funded before beginning the course. The problem is that if I begin the bureaucratic process for requesting hospital authorizations after the grant I run the risk of delaying the course too much.

I had to work many sessions explaining and teaching the rules, telling them in Word how to write an article, helping them to look for the material and the sources on the web. The next time I would try to explain less and accompany more.


Grant funds spent[edit]

Please describe how much grant money you spent for approved expenses, and tell us what you spent it on.

I only charge professional fees during workshop hours when the patients attended the course, twenty-four classes of two hours each = 24 x 2 x 40 = U$D 1920, but I already had $25 from remaining grant funds, total ammount U$D 1895.

Remaining funds[edit]

Do you have any remaining grant funds?

No. I yet haven't receive the money.

Anything else[edit]

Anything else you want to share about your project?

I feel very grateful to the Foundation for the opportunity it gives me. I love working with these kind of patients and I love teaching them how to edit and contribute to projects.