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              International Mental Health Collaborative Network

Newsletter July 2014

Message from Roberto Mezzina and John Jenkins

Roberto and John with IMHCN colleagues in Trieste

Dear IMHCN Supporter
Welcome to the the first edition of our regular newsletter. In April we relaunched the IMHCN  as a UK based organisation (for more information please see the article below). As a supporter we want to inform you of the latest work of our organisation and the  exciting plans we have for our future development. 
IMHCN is a formal network of partner organisations and individuals from across the world who are committed to the twin goals of deinstitutionalisation of psychiatric services and replacing them with a community based approach to mental health.
This is a time of great change and potential in the world of mental health. We believe that the IMHCN is playing an important part in transforming outdated services so they fully address the whole life needs of people and communities. 
We have adopted the Whole life - Whole Systems Approach because we believe it is the key to transforming mental health services and practices. The approach identifies the whole life needs of individuals as the foundation of determining how best to support and improve mental health and wellbeing. This is achieved by developing a common purpose owned by the wider community together with networks of services and organisations.
The objective is to establish a whole systems developmental approach that provides opportunities; appreciates assets and enables access to local communities resources, natural strengths and resilience.

We are focusing our programmes on developing collaborations with our members from around the world through conferences, consultancy and training on deinstitutionalisation and whole life - whole systems developments.
In 2013 We began to establish Whole Life, Recovery into practice Learning Sets for partner organisations aimed at changing the thinking, practice and systems in determining and meeting thewwhole life needs of people and local communities. We now have established or planned
learning sets in Cornwall,  England; Johor Baru, Malaysia; Liverpool and Plymouth, England; Novi Sad, Serbia; South and West Wales, Trieste, Italy; West Bank and Gaza. I
We wish to invite you to contribute to these initiatives.
You can do this in a number of ways:
  • participate in our training programmes and conferences;
  • let us know about what you are doing in your service to develop new ways of working so we can share this with others in our future newsletters and on our website
  • become a member of IMHCN as an organisation or individual
If you would like more information email our secretary Paul Baker
Warm Regards
Roberto Mezzina (chairman) and John Jenkins (CEO) 

IMHCN Relaunch 2014

Network relaunched as UK Charitable Company

On Friday, 21st March IMHCN held its inaugural meeting as a reconstituted UK Charitable company. The members approved the new constitution of the Network.
Fourteen Trustees were elected as members of the board. Roberto Mezzina will be our new chairman, Mike Smith, Vice Chairman and our Honorary President is Franco Rotelli. John Jenkins is the new Chief Executive,  Paul Baker is the secretary and John Stacey the treasurer. See the board member details hereGo here to read the minutes of the meeting.

Recovery into practice: Developing a regional Whole Person, Whole Life, Whole Systems Approach in the North West of England

This one day international conference was held on the 16th May 2014 hosted by IMHCN member, Alternative Futures Group, in Merseyside and facilitated by the IMHCN. The meeting launched an exciting initiative to develop a regional Whole Life Whole Systems Strategy for the NW of England. You can see a report  and view the presentations here

Paul Baker, Terry Davies, Salifu Manneh, Neil Campbell, John Jenkins, Mike Smith
Promoting The Whole Life - Whole Systems Approach 2013 - 2014
Over the last 12 months we have been very active, working in eight countries providing consultancy and training on developing whole life -  whole system programmes.
In November 2013, we co-hosted a International Summer School in Trieste Italy, with the Trieste Health Agency. 
The same month, in Sydney, Australia we ran a workshop for IMHCN member St Vincents Healthcare and presented at a conference hosted by the New South Wales Mental Health Commission(see their report there NSW Mental Health Commissioner John Feneley said:
The forum was a great chance to get together with key stakeholders, and address the importance of recovery oriented practice at the core of all service provision”.
We also travelled to Auckland, New Zealand where we ran a workshop for NGO's hosted by our member, the Walsh Trust
We visited Permai Hospital, Johor Bahru, Malaysia on two occasions. Running a Whole Life Whole Systems Symposium in November 2013 and returned in April 2014 when we co-hosted the Johor Bahru Mental Health Convention and continued our training and development work with our member, the Permai Hospital.
In January we presented at the Lille WHOCC Congress on the Empowerment of Service Users and Carers in France.
In February we spent two weeks providing training in Gaza and the West Bank. In Gaza City we met in the premises of the new Friends For Mental Health organisation, they also jointly hosted (with the World Health Organisation) a well attended meeting for service users, family members and professionals about hearing voices.
We have organised and are running Whole Life Whole System Recovery into Practice Learning Sets in in South and West Wales for organisations representing health services, families, community organisations and service users. This initiate was launched in October 2013 at a two day international conference that we co-hosted with Abertawe Bro Morganwwg University Health Board, Hywel Dda University Health Board and West Wales Action For Mental Health. This work will be presented to an interrnational conference in October 2014.
In England we have been working with our partner members, Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Plymouth Community Healthcare CIC in developing and implementing Whole Life - Whole System practice.
Our longstanding founder partner Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust co-hosted our relaunch and a successful Whole life Whole Systems Symposium in March 2014. 

IMHCN Membership
IMHCN brings together people, places, services and practices internationally to develop whole life - whole systems approaches to community mental health and change the thinking, practice and systems through supporting the shared learning and collaboration of our members.

Mental health organisations and individuals that aspire to the values and principles of the Network can take part in its activities (see our Charter). We are a partnership of organisations and individuals committed to describing and sharing their work through the activities of the Network. Government and non government organisations and individuals who are committed to the values and principles can join the Network. For more information contact us at
Support our work
You can help us as an individual supporter by making a contribution of five pounds, six euros or eight dollars. You can make a secure payment via our paypal link at the bottom of our home page here
Our Work in 2014
The following activites are being held year:
9th June Whole Life-Whole Systems and Recovery into Practice, Launch Symposium of Learning Sets Programme 2014 - 2015, Plymouth, England
12th - 14th June SIEP Conference and one day workshop on Whole Life  Whole Systems Approach, Trieste, Italy
9th - 13th September Open Doors: From The Psychiatric Hospital to Territorial Services  - Policies and Good Practice in Mental Health, San Paolo, Brazil
30th - 31st October One Year On: Implementing Recovery into Practice: A Whole Life - Whole Systems Approach National Botanic Garden of Wales, Carmarthen, Wales

November Knowing The Person The Whole Person - Whole Life - Whole System Approach One Day Workshop, Manchester and Bristol We are planning to hold two one day workshops for mental health practitioners, services users, family members, commissioners and mangers and community organisations. For more information contact us at
Palestine Whole Life Recovery Training and Development 
In February 2014 IMHCN in collaboration with the World Health Organisation and the Health Ministries in the West Bank and Gaza we ran a series of successful training sessions for mental health workers. You can read more about this work here
News and Articles from our Members

Mental Health development in Brazil: From institutionalization to deinstitutionalization 
In this article by Rossana Maria Seabra Sade describes the history of mental health in Brazil the struggle to reform the institutional system and the significant progress that has been made over the last twenty years. You can read the article here

‘Making the most of community links from a secure psychiatric setting’ 
Andy Boxall, Ian Hogbin and Holly Batchelor from the Cornwall Low Secure Service discuss their work in implementing a whole life recovery approachfor people living in secure settings by connecting the local community.
You can read the article here

News from Plymouth
Sharon Claridge, Director of Plymouth and District Mind describes the progress of implementing the Plymouth Whole Life -  Whole Systems Strategy. You can read the article here

Our website is a valuable resource for information about the Whole Life - Whole Systems Approach and Deinstitutionalisation.
We are currently updating the website to improve the design and content. We would appreciate your views, contact us at You can visit the IMHCN website here 
Hearing Voices Network Cymru (Wales)
The website of HVN Cymru (IMHCN Member) provides positive messages and perspectives about hearing voices you can visit their website here.
IMHCN Website
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International Mental health Collaborating Network 
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