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Shared Experience and Local Mental Health Systems

May 16 @ 17 h 00 min - 18 h 00 min


The SE&LMHS project assumes that mental health is not only a matter for special services but should include the whole local community. Several activities beneficial for mental health can be created by working together in the community in peer-to-peer contexts through direct relationships between professionals, service users, carers, the third sector and representatives of the local community. These activities can be very different and can vary according to the local contexts. They have nothing to do with diagnostic systems and are not an extension of services.

Mental health services should not only follow the clinical approach currently dominated by the biomedical model and DSM/ICD nosographic categories. This approach, useful in specific and limited circumstances, risks instead damaging/colonizing the communities themselves by stripping them of their natural resilience mechanisms, when extended inappropriately out of context.  Services should also be open to the social and cultural perspectives of the communities in which they operate and should play an important role in promoting collaborative activities with all key stakeholders present in those same communities. The roots of the project are based in Florence and Prato (Italy); in a context where psychiatric hospitals were being closed and the local community was becoming one of the main players in mental health. A transition from the clinical to the community environment has been – and continues to be – most important to organize better services and better communities. The Watford experience will be presented as a development of the original Italian project in the British context.


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May 16
17 h 00 min - 18 h 00 min
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Mental Health Europe is not responsible for the content of external events featured on this calendar