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  • Writer's pictureVšĮ Socialinių inovacijų centras


Project title:

Vocational Training Programme in Community Mental Health

Programme: Lifelong Learning Programme, Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation Projects

Reasons for the project. The World Health Organisation states that primary care mental health services in Europe are under-developed with long waiting times to receive treatment in the community, resulting in significant costs to individuals, communities and economies. This lack of capacity is associated with insufficient numbers of trained workers with appropriate mental health skills. The Mental Health Action Plan for Europe recommends that priority is given to the development of new education and training initiatives; an example of which is the Primary Care Graduate Mental Health Worker role, which has demonstrated that trainees without prior mental health experience can be quickly trained to enhance primary care mental health services.

This transfer of innovation project will provide partners with access to existing training materials previously developed in the UK.

3 phases

Phase 1 – Development and adaptation of Transfer of Innovation materials

Phase 2 – Delivery of training

Phase 3 – Evaluation and Dissemination

The experiential element of phase 2 of the project will engage trainees in community projects where they will explore their learning in a live environment. Project tutors will mentor the trainees in their acquisition of vocational mental health work competencies and personal development that will include low intensity psychological interventions, mental health promotion and community liaison/project development to be recorded in a personal reflective journal. The Graduate Primary Care Mental Health Worker Programme (GPCMHWP) will be adapted for use at European Vocational level 3 standard. This will provide a unifying framework to inform the EQF by identifying key learning outcomes and competencies in community mental health work in the partner countries. An evaluation of the project will promote best practice and form a template for use by other training institutions in Europe.

The training materials, underpinned by a dedicated CD ROM training package, will be adapted for use in the relevant country, each CD representing a learning unit with a concomitant set of skills and competencies that are fit for purpose. CD1, for example, outlines the core competencies for professional practice in the UK. Partners will adapt these for their own primary care provision training, in response to cultural differences. A comparison of the three primary care mental health models will be included in the final report.

The project will create a training template for a new role, community mental health worker, within a unifying framework, in order to increase access to mental health treatments and support of those with low to moderate mental health issues back into education, training and employment. The project will be based on an innovative mix of work-based experiential learning and underpinning theory with core identified skills and competencies.

This project will adapt the GPCMHWP so as to provide a new, non-tertiary vocational programme to train community mental health workers. This will increase the scope and range of mental health training and help to build capacity in primary care mental health in the United Kingdom and partner countries.

Objectives To develop, accredit and evaluate a new, level three vocational programme to train community mental health workers

A new, level three vocational programme to train community mental health workers in community projects that seek to help those with mental health issues back into education, training and employment.

Intangible Outcomes

An increase in primary care mental health capacity; mental health service users – an increase in wellbeing, confidence and self-esteem.

Impact The programme will provide the template for a new vocational community mental health worker role. The programme development, contents, implementation and evaluation processes will be made available to member states through a dedicated web-site.

Further detail

The project’s aim is to adapt the existing Primary Care Graduate Mental Health Worker Programme so as to provide a non-tertiary vocational level 3 training programme for generic community mental health workers. The programme will provide the workers with the skills and experience required to engage in community development and liaison work and to effectively utilise low-intensity psychological approaches to support people with mild to moderate, common mental health problems. This programme will help to build capacity in primary care mental health in the United Kingdom and in the project’s other partner countries. In doing so, this proposal directly addresses the European and UK National Priorities, which call for the development of vocational skills in considering labour market needs by providing an effective training model for primary care services that will improve the range and quality of mental health services provided to people in the community and so reduce the likelihood of prolonged absence from work due to common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, in addition to helping low to moderate mental health service users back into education, training and employment.

Project partners:

– Plymouth & District Mind Association (UK, Plymouth) – coordinator;

– University of Plymouth (UK, Plymouth);

-Wyzsza Szkola Edukacji Zdrowotnej w Lodzi (poland, Lodz); – Sentprima – Zavod za Svetovanje, Usposabljanje in Rehabilitacijo Invalidov (Slovenia, Ljubljana);

– Mental Health Centre / General Hospital of Agrinio (Greece, Agrinio);

– VsI Socialiniu inovaciju centras (Lithuania, Siauliai).

Project duration: 2 years (2010 – 2012).

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