10 Apr 2023

Preview: Webinar 26 April 2023. Ongoing Reform of Mental Health. From Institutions to Community Services

We are pleased to invite you to join us for a free webinar, ‘Ongoing reform of mental health. From Institutions to community services’, hosted by the EUCOMS Network. This webinar is part of the ‘Learning from each other webinar series’ and will be held on 26th April at 19:00 CET.

The webinar will be a follow-up step to the seminar we had between 17-20 March in Romania with 50 experts on mental health from 10 countries. The aim of the webinar is to continue the conversation around ongoing reform in mental health, with a focus on the shift from institutions to community services.

We selected some highlights for you of the recent seminar in Romania.

You will first learn about the situation in Northeast Romania, where a horror orphanage was turned into a model of good practice from 2016 onwards by Tiberiu Rotaru and his team. This process was followed by an accelerated development of community mental health in a good collaboration that supports participation with the Bucovina Institute. Tibi Rotaru and Vasi Gafiuc tell this story.

Then we move across the border to Ukraine. You will learn about the devastating consequences of the war from Mariya Bachmaha in Lviv. Yet, you will also learn from her and Halyna Shtohryn how the project MH4U continues. A message of determination and hope!

As in each EUCOMS Webinar, persons with lived experience open and close the Webinar, in this case, Raluca Hagianu and Gabriela Tanasan. There will of course also be live music.

Get to know the speakers

Tiberiu Rotaru

Tiberiu is a highly accomplished psychologist with an impressive track record spanning over a decade. As the manager of the Chronic Psychiatric Hospital Siret since 2008, Tiberiu is responsible for the coordination and overall activity within the hospital. He holds a degree in sociology-psychology-pedagogy from the Bucharest University and a certificate as a specialist psychologist in clinical psychology and trained psychotherapist in CBT from The College of Psychologists in Romania.

Prior to his leadership role at the Chronic Psychiatric Hospital Siret, Tiberiu worked as a teacher and in care for people with special needs. Tiberiu’s contributions towards the development of the hospital since he joined as a psychologist in 2006 were significant, including the submission of various projects.

Vasile Gafiuc

With more than 15 years expertise in adult education and support services from employment, in social inclusion of vulnerable groups and human rights, Vasile is a founder and institutional development expert of several umbrella NGOs in Romania, Ukraine and Republic of Moldova. Since 2007 he is an active member of Social Firms Europe CEFEC, and since 2015 grant administrator for startup social enterprise with focus on rural areas in Romania within Bucovina Institute.

From 2005, as a president of Bucovina Institute/Romania, he was working closely with international partnership in the process of deinstitutionalization of psychiatric systems in Eastern Europe, promoting the concepts of Club House, personalized employment support services, apprenticeship stages, and social enterprises as a tool for social inclusion of vulnerable groups.

Also, he implemented many EU projects financed by European Social Fund in the field of professional rehabilitation and employment of people with disabilities, roma people and youngsters at the risk, supporting the networking and sharing of experiences between experts from all Europe.

Mariya Bachmaha

Mariya Bachmaha has a background in public health from Brown University (USA) and law from Ivan Franko National University (Lviv, Ukraine). She leads an NGO “PH Capital. Public Health Experts” that unites young Ukrainian experts with experience and education in public health, health care, social police and care, law and policy to systemically impact the public health and related system in Ukraine.

Mariya has been working with the SDC-funded project MH4U as national stakeholder coordinator since 2019. In this role, Mariya is tasked with making high quality mental health services more accessible to the Ukrainian people by coordinating national stakeholders. Previously, she coordinated research activities in Ukraine for Brown University Ukraine Collaboration, mainly in the areas of Tuberculosis and HIV. The research focused on patient-level and system-level obstacles for effective HIV/TB patient care in Ukraine.

As a WHO consultant in Ukraine and as a researcher, Mariya has focused on the performance of the national immunization system and since 2020 she is a member of the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG). As a WHO consultant, Mariya has worked on improving access to immunization services in Ukraine and limiting the spread of the measles outbreak in 2018-2020. As a public health consultant, Mrs. Bachmaha is working with national authorities and NGOs on building public health system in Ukraine.

Halyna Shtohryn

She is one of the co-leaders of Dream Workshop NGO, serving as the Strategic Development Manager. Since 2015, their NGO has been working on improving the quality of life of people with mental disabilities in a systematic manner. They achieve this through four main methods: daycare centers, families support groups, work with society, and developing supported living as a new service instead of old institutions.

The Dream Workshop NGO, in collaboration with MH4U, has successfully established a supported living house, allowing individuals with mental disabilities to move from institutions to a more supportive environment. They are set to open another house in the coming summer, creating space for 15 additional people. With the backing of their partners, they engage in advocacy work to promote the adoption of this service as a regular practice.

As the Regional Coordinator on supported living for MH4U, she is actively involved in creating supported living services in Western Ukraine. Her duties include managing the establishment of these services, and this year, they aim to provide 20 individuals with this service instead of staying in internats or hospitals.

Gabriela Tănăsan

Gabriela is an ex-user of mental health services and, for more than 20 years, an activist for user empowerment. Leader, organizer, trainer, project coordinator, and public speaker in the user/survivor movement, working at local, national and European level, she acquired a good knowledge of mental health service users and survivors of psychiatry community at the European level. Working later with several European umbrella organizations in advocating for persons with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities, her area of expertise has extended to disability issues as a whole.

Former Chair of European Network of (Ex-)Users and Survivors of Psychiatry – ENUSP (www.enusp.org), the only grassroots umbrella organisation working across Europe to unite local and national organisations of (ex-)users and survivors of psychiatry, Gabriela represents ENUSP at the European Patients‘ Forum. At the same time, she is a consultant for several Romanian and European NGOs on mental health policy and users’ involvement in the development and implementation of mental health policy and related policies, rights of persons with disabilities, and fundraising.

Raluca Hagianu

Raluca Hagianu is a trained Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. She is currently a part of the Executive Committee of the Global Mental Health Peer Network and making her debut in Mental Health advocacy and volunteer work for less fortunate mental health sufferers from around the world. She is also the carer for her mom who has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals from 2019 to 2022 with recurrent, treatment resistant depression, experiencing violations in her human and medical rights in one of the psychiatric hospitals she has been in.

Raluca attempts to fight against violation of her mom’s rights (through contacting government’s structures, NGOs or the press) were unsuccessful, so she is learning through different GMHPN platforms how to succeed advocating for people with Mental Health challenges, as she is a mental health peer herself.

Participation is free. Feel free to share this invitation with your network!

To register for the webinar, please click the link below.

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