Advancing Mental Health Training


Professor Peter Ryan from the Department of Mental Health, Social Work, Interprofessional Learning and Complementary Health recently completed a project for the World Health Organisation which aims to improve the knowledge and skills of professionals in Turkey who are responsible for training mental health professionals.

Leading a Middlesex team, Professor Ryan developed a programme of training materials for use with Turkish university and community mental health centre (CMHC) staff, based on agreed training priorities, and using blended learning approaches including face to face teaching and online web-based material.

Previously, Peter explained, "Turkish training had not been used to training whole teams together, or to training multi-disciplinary teams. Our approach did both these things."

The blended learning materials covered principles in working in community care; core tasks and skills in community care; the client relationship; social inclusion and recovery; medication management; risk assessment and management; psychosocial interventions, including relapse prevention and early signs detection; working with the family; multidisciplinary team work and leadership in CMHCs, and ethics and values in mental health.

The project culminated in training the trainers (TOT) events in late March, followed by Turkish trainers delivering the programme to 200 CMHC staff over two weeks in mid-April, and a World Health Organisation Turkey closing conference on 16 and 17 April. This training was extremely positively evaluated by the CMHC clinical staff who attended, and CMHC training in the remaining eight units of the blended learning curriculum is expected to occur over the next two to three years. Middlesex University has also been invited to join a Horizon 2020 research and development bid proposal to evaluate and disseminate this pioneering training approach to countries including Bulgaria, Lithuania, Serbia and Hungary.

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