Mental Health Conference “From Managing emergencies to Sustaining Reforms”

Athens, Propylaia, 30 Panepistimiou str. ,
“Alkis Argyriadis” Hall 3-4.06.2019

Within the framework of response to refugee and migration crisis in the Mediterranean, Mental Health and psycho-social support issues have been identified as a major need. The civil society and MdM-Greece are keen on maintaining the recent momentum in order to call for longer term needed reforms of the mental health sector to be finally applied into action.
Towards that direction, MdM-Greece implements the “Open Minds” project, supported with a grand by Open Society Foundations (OSF). The initiative aims to unite the different civil society actors and mobilize a sector’s wide response towards a reformed and upgraded mental health system in Greece. Within the framework of the specific project, in collaboration with the MHPSS sub-working group in Athens and under the auspices of IASC Reference Group and the Greek Ministry of Health, we are organizing an international mental health conference entitled "From managing Emergencies to sustaining reforms" to take place in Athens, Greece between 3-6 June 2019. 
As the title indicates, the context spans from emergency responses to practices taking place within more sustainable environments in view of including the topics elaborated in -the recently published also in Greek- IASC Guidelines as well as considerations arising in urban Greece today under the burden of the internal socio-economic crisis and the refugees' and migrants' increased arrivals. The Mental Health system in Greece shares the same inherited weaknesses with the public welfare sector in general; additionally, it is charged with ignorance, fear of stigma, prejudices and a wide-spread clientalism that has further prevented positive developments and changes to take place. Although suggested reforms have been introduced in theory, these have never been applied in practice. 

Aside the "IASC panel" focusing on the Guidelines, there will be 2 more panels, one focusing on intercultural approaches to psychiatric and psycho-social services and a panel focusing on the national mental health system and suggested reforms, best examples and lessons learned. Last but not least, a panel entitled "Outcomes from the recent Wildfires Crisis Management in Attica - Greece" where different organizations will present their interventions will also take place during the 2nd day. Additionally, there will be showcasing of different projects and best practices (8 presentations) as well as a total of 6 interactive workshops on different topics.  


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