SÁLAREYGA revolves around the 40 year history of Sinnisbati and tells the story of the organisation, which since 1982 has been working for the rights of people with mental illness in the Faroe Islands. Already by 1989, seven years after its establishment, the organisation had purchased two houses to be used as care centres for people with mental illness.
One of the primary objectives of the organisation has always been to raise awareness about mental illness and the circumstances surrounding mental illness. From the beginning, Sinnisbati arranged for lectures about mental illness in different areas in the Faroe Islands.
It has been essential to the organisation to destigmatise mental illness and to make it less taboo to suffer from mental illness. The tools have been many: lectures, the World Mental Health Day, and information and comments communicated in the media.
The book also looks back on the history of the approximately 300 Faroese people who from the years 1890 to 1969 were forced to leave the country to receive treatment, as treatment for mental illness was not available in the Faroe Islands. They arrived in a foreign country and were admitted amongst foreigners speaking a foreign language. Most were never able to return.
In 1969, the State Hospital opened its doors to patients. Former employees have been interviewed about the circumstances then and about the time during which Faroese patients came back from Denmark and were admitted to the State Hospital instead.
SÁLAREYGA, which means spiritual perspicacity or acuteness in Faroese, is a part of the history of mental illness in the Faroe Islands.