MENTBEST Network Event in Thessaloniki, Greece

Network Event - Greece

Greece’s first network meeting was held on the 1st of April (2024) at the city’s town hall. The attendance was excellent and diverse as 34 people from around 20 different stakeholders /organizations were represented at the event including the police, the church, the YMCA, migrants NGOs, children/youth NGOs, health centers, and mental health professionals from public and private organizations, and social workers in health/social services provided to older adults, migrants/refugees and youth. The deputy mayor for primary and secondary education in Thessaloniki, as well as representatives from the social services and the older age mayor offices, in addition to the higher management from the 3rd Health District for Northern Greece (Macedonia), were also present.

Cards were given to the attendees so that they could present themselves and share what is the priority in mental health in Thessaloniki in their opinion. The cards were then posted on the wall so that they could be looked at during the break.

Professor Ana Vivas, then presented the goal of the meeting which was to create The Thessaloniki Alliance for Mental Health, and against depression, so that we can prevent and reduce mental health problems in the general population and the vulnerable groups targeted by MENTBEST. She also presented the 4-Level community intervention approach.

After the coffee break, there was a lively discussion guided by question promoted by the SEERC team (Who can be trained to train other? And how we can get them invested in the alliance and delivery of the training during implementation?/Who can support the intervention in the community? And how can we best incorporate the training within their routine work?/How the community of trainers and facilitators/gate keepers can support each other in reaching the vulnerable populations and the general population?/Have we forgotten someone who could play an important role in the alliance?), but also around questions and issues brought up by the attendees. The event ended up with a light lunch and information discussions.

The Deputy Mayor for Education and Life Long Learning Efi Theodoraki greeted the audience and spoke of the Mental health problems faced by adolescents in schools.

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