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Arch Hellen Med, 24(3), May-June 2007, 216-223


Points of reference concerning the function of local mental health networks

Scientific Association for Regional Development and Mental Health, Athens, Greece

The need for support of the ongoing process for the reform of mental health services in Greece and transformation of the way mental health care is delivered in community settings requires the development of new techniques. A methodology is needed which will enable professionals to diffuse innovation, to multiply resources and integrate more effectively the different services. Communication and organization networks comprise an important alternative, provided that their development and function is based on evidence based decisions, on standardized evaluation of efficiency and ethical guidelines. International and national experience has shown that networking reinforces mental health promotion by helping the professionals, the service users and their families, and it contributes to more efficient mental health care provision in the community. In this paper, two crucial points are referred to that should be taken into consideration for the development of local mental health networks. These points are considered as preliminary steps to the overall procedure and they concern (a) the transfer and dissemination of principals and guidelines related to the networks involving different professional or academic settings, and (b) the preliminary research on the readiness and capacity of mental health professionals and services to join networks, while at the same time making efficient use of all the available resources, especially community resources.

Key words: Community, Mental health promotion, Networks, Psychiatric reform.

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