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              International Mental Health Collaborative Network

Newsletter May 2015

IMHCN Launches New Website

Dear IMHCN Supporter
Welcome to the second edition of our regular newsletter. This month we are launching the new IMHCN website. The new website has been designed to be more interactive and informative. You will find new sections about our work across the world; our country members and partner organisations; our special advisors and contributors; links and other information about our work.We would very much appreciate your views about the new website and any suggestions you may have about future content would be welcomed.

You can now join the IMHCN through our website as an individual or organisational member. As a member you can access our Library and Resources Section that contains an extensive range of information about Whole Life Whole Community Whole Systems Approaches to reforming mental health thinking, practices and services. IMHCN partner organisations who are working together as part of our Action Learning Set initiative can now share knowledge, experiences and also communicate with each other through their own part of the website. Join IMHCN here.


We continue to work on 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.
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) 


2014 Annual International Think-Tank Conference: “One Year On” Recovery into Practice: A Whole Life – Whole Systems Approach

Our second annual conference was held at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Carmarthen, on the 30th - 31st October 2014.

The conference was a great success attended by 0ver 180 people from West and South Wales and the rest of the United Kingdom with guest speakers from around the world.

Roberto Mezzina, IMHCN Chairman said:

"This conference gave everyone a good understanding of the importance of the whole life- whole systems approach. I was very encouraged and impressed by the many examples of innovative ways of working that were described by presenters; the moving accounts given by people about their lives and the energy and commitment of the participants. I believe that the conference was inspirational and I hope that it will inspire all of us to renew our energies in bringing about change in mental health".

The two day conference celebrated the progress made since the one we held in June 2013. It built on the work of putting whole life recovery into practice over the last eighteen months in South and West Wales. You can read more about the conference here

Study Visit and International School Open Day: Good Practice in Mental Health Services, Lyngby, Copenhagen 16th – 17th April 2015
The IMHCN facilitated a study visit to Slotsvaegets Lyngby that included members of IMHCN, representatives from; Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board (ABMU) and Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. You can read about the visit here.

Making Sense of Voices: A One Day Awareness and Information Day For and About Young People Who Hear Voices

The day organised by IMHCN was led by the internationally acclaimed trainer Rachel Waddingham who is a voice hearer herself and managed the Voice Collective project between 2009 and 2015. Rachel is also the vice chair of ISPS UK and a trustee of Hearing Voices Network England. The event was attended by over 50 people that ranged from: Voice Hearers, Family Members, Friends, Health Services, CAMHS, Social Care and the Voluntary Sector. You can read about the day here.

Introducing the hearing voices approach into Brazil
In April 20015 Paul Baker spent two weeks in Brazil introducing the hearing voices approach to people who hear voices, family members and mental health workers. Three two day workshops were held in Marilia, Campinas (both in the state of Sao Paulo) and Rio de Janiero and one day conference and follow up workshop in Belem. Yuo can read bout the visit here.

Franco and Franca Basaglia International School Franco:
Basaglia’s vision: mental health and complexity of real life
Trieste, Italy, 9th to 12th December 2014

The annual Trieste International School was organised and hosted by Roberto Mezzina, Director of Mental Health, Director of WHOCC and the chairman of IMHCN.

IMHCN supported the organisation of this event and it was attended by IMHCN contributors including Abdul Abu Bakar, Paul Baker, Hywel Davies, Jorn Eriksen, John Jenkins, Jan Pfeiffer, John Stacey and Rob Warriner.

At the conference there were participants and presenters from twenty five countries. The programme for the event can be seen here.


Our Work in 2015


Action Learning Set Programme, IMHCN, Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, January - June 2015
Action Learning Set Programme, IMHCN, Plymouth Community Healthcare (CIC), June - March 2015
Whole Life Whole Systems Workshop, IMHCN, Horizons Swindon, Eldene, Swindon, 30th January 2015
Whole Life Whole Systems Strategy,  IMHCN, Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, January (ongoing) 2015
Hertfordshire Conference New Approaches for Acute and Crisis Services 16th June 2015


Hearing Voices Approach Training, Rio de Janerio, Belem, Campinas, Brazil, 19th March - 1st April 2015


International School and Symposium, Person Centred Services, IMHCN, Lyngby Municipality, Lyngby, Copenhagen, 16th and 17th April 2015

Twinning Collaboration: Whole Person, Whole Life - Whole Systems, IMHCN,Hywel Dda University Health Board,AAS n . 1 Trieste, Launches, 12th May 2015

Action Learning Set Programmes, International Aid Network, IMHCN in Belgrade, Serbia inFebruary - March 2015


Substance Abuse and Whole Life Needs, IMHCN, Carmarthenshire County Council, March 2015
Children and Young People and Hearing Voices Approach, IMHCN, Hearing Voices Network Cymru, March 2015
Action Learning Sets Programme, IMHCN/Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, January - December 2015
Support our work
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News and Articles from our Members

The Community Whole Life Whole Systems Twinning Collaboration Convention
In 2015 a new Twinning Collaboration Convention has been established between Trieste Mental Health Service Department, Italy and Hywel Dda University Health Board, Wales. Twinning brings together people and organisations that wish to learn from each other in a reciprocal ways that address the following: identifying areas of good practice based on our philosophy, values and practice; agreeing areas of common interest in service development that promote de-institionalisation and whole life, whole community, whole systems approaches; overcoming the barriers of thinking, practice and organisation that prevent progress in achieving a whole life for people. Read more about Twinning here.

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 approach for people living in secure settings by connecting the local community.
You can read the article here

IMHCN joins “Open Arms” Initiative in Serbia

IMHCN has become a partner in a European Community funded programme entitled "Recovery within Community: Supporting Recovery of Persons with Mental disorders and their full inclusion in the community". We are working on this initiative alongside the International Aid Network an IMHCN member. In 2014 we ran Action Learning Sets in Novo Sad and Belgrade as part of our contract with IAN.

In 2015 we will be returning to Serbia to continue the work with a three day Learning Set focussed on the agendas and needs of service users and families entitled "Recovery into Practice for Family Members and People with Lived Experience." As a result of this partnership it is planned to develop a branch of IMHCN for Serbia.

Launch of Network and International School in Brazil

We are pleased to announce the launch of the new Brazilian International Network for Mental Health and the Franca and Franco International School. The Network was launched in September 2014 at the International School and Congress held in Campinas, Sao Paulo Region. In the attached report the Network Coordinator Rossana Maria Seabra Sade sets out the context, aims and objectives of the Network and its plans for the future. You can read the report here LAUNCH OF THE BRAZILIAN NETWORK AND INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL FRANCA AND FRANCO BASAGLIA

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 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
IMHCN Website
IMHCN Website

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International Mental health Collaborating Network 
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