Marbella council and the Junta de Andalucía are working on plans to turn a rural estate that was previously used for welfare causes into a centre for patients with mental health problems. Officials are drawing up a report on what will be needed to convert the public-owned Hacienda de Toros, on the road to Istán.
The idea was announced by the regional government's general secretary for Families, Ana Carmen Mata, after a visit to the complex with the mayor of Marbella, Ángeles Muñoz, and the president of local mental-health charity Afesol, Concepción Cuevas.
Mata said the Hacienda de Toros meets many of the requirements needed for a centre of this type, not only from the healthcare aspect but also from a social point of view, enabling the patients and their families to live as normal a life as possible within their particular pathology. "We are working on this together with the town hall, and I am convinced other institutions will join us so we can achieve it," she said.
The mayor said that once the report has been drawn up, "we will seek funds to carry out the conversion and create a pioneering centre to offer assistance to mental health patients and their relatives". She also said that "we have spent a great deal of time working on the idea of the Hacienda de Toros becoming an alternative for people with this type of health issue".
She explained that in the past the council has received numerous applications from people interested in acquiring the concession for Hacienda de Toros for other purposes, "but we have always wanted, and have always been committed, from the first minute to use this complex for a project which would help part of the local population".
Concepción Cuevas, the president of Afesol, also expressed her satisfaction at this joint project. "We have been thinking about these facilities for many years now, and having the support of the council and the Junta de Andalucía is very important," she said.