“From Crisis Management to Sustainable Reforms”
3 & 4 June 2019
In the context of the recent “reception crisis” in Europe and the socio-economic crisis plaguing Greece, the needs of mental health and psychosocial support have emerged as a crucial issue. The psycho-social risks for national population as well as for people on the move, refugees and migrants, intensify due to the traumatic experiences to which they are exposed. Tackling them poses a challenge to the national health system especially considering the inherent weaknesses of the mental health system in Greece and the consequences that the economic crisis has inflicted upon the fields of mental health and social welfare in general. Recent disasters of national proportions, such as the wildfires in Mati area last summer are adding to the above and highlight new complexities regarding the issue of crisis management both at operational level and at the level of citizens ‘ mental health.
Civil society collaborates in order to find solutions, ways and tools that will drive and ensure the welfare of the community; means and methods that are known and accessible at the level of public and local administration but also to the citizens themselves, who were the front-liners of response when boats full of refugees and migrants were reaching the Greek islands by hundreds as well as when Mati, Rafina, Marathon and N. Makri were swept by the wildfires on July 23, 2018.
In this direction, the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Guidelines of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) recently translated to Greek from the Day Centre Babel/Syn-Eirmos is particularly important, as they have now become easily accessible to a wider public in Greece. Thus, with the support of Doctors of the World, the Attica sub-working group for mental health and psychosocial support and the MHPSS Reference Group of Inter-Agency Standing Committee (RG IASC) co-organise, under the auspices of the Ministry of Health, an International Conference on Mental Health in Athens, from the 3rd to the 6th of June 2019. The conference will take place on the 3rd and 4th of June 2019 in the auditorium of the Athens University, “Alkis Argyriadis Hall” (Panepistimiou 30), which will be followed by a two-days training on IASC guidelines for professionals and field experts (June 5th and 6th).
In addition to the IASC guidelines, the Conference will tackle the issues of intercultural approaches to Mental Health and the necessary reforms and good practices that should be taken into account towards the formulation of relevant policies in the field of mental health, in view of promoting community psychiatry and addressing stigma and social exclusion. The topics will be analysed and discussed in the context of different thematic tables, with the participation of Greek and international speakers. A round table dedicated to the recent disaster in Mati will attempt to cover the spectrum between crisis management, prevention and early warning systems, community participation in support services and actors’ cooperation in crises’ settings.