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User participation: An essential element for effective mental health care in the 21st century

On the 16th and 17th June 2014 took place in Barcelona, Spain the 15th annual ENTER conference. Its theme was “User participation: An essential element for effective mental health care in the 21st century”. It was held in cooperation with:


  • Parc de Salut Mar (Dra. Flores),
  • Salut Mental Catalunya (SMC),
  • Associació Espanyola de Neuropsiquiatría (AEN),
  • Escola Superior d’Infermeria del Mar (ESIM) and
  • Associació EmiliaBCN.  


The aim of this conference was to present and compare different European organizations’ training approaches aimed at promoting user participation in training, research and care in the area of mental health. User participation has been a key theme for the European Network for Training, Evaluation and Research (ENTER) network, as it was shown in a series of members’ presentations.


The conference consisted of four plenary, three workshop and poster sessions focusing on:


  • Training user trainers and user researchers
  • Training research and teaching staff at university level
  • User trainers and user participation in pre- and post-graduate training for all professionals
  • Building recovery-oriented health services


Click here to view the program with links to the presentations which are presently available..


Welcome addresses were made by representatives of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Ajuntament de Barcelona and Parc de Salut Mar.

The opening speech was by Debra Lampshire (Experience-based expert at the University of Auckland and project manager for Auckland District Health Board in New Zealand, Current Chairperson of the New Zealand Branch of the International Society of Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis), that spoke through her own personal experience and with her motivating speech about creating a future together for mental health care and services.


The 1st plenary session was about THE USER'S ROLE IN RECOVERY-ORIENTED HEALTH SERVICES. Cristina Molina, Director of Mental Health and Addictions' Director Plan, Health Department, Barcelona), presented the ongoing and scheduled regional policies and actions concerning users participation. Marife Bravo (Hospital Universitario de la Paz) talked about the user role in the improvement of the quality of life of people with mental health problems. Finally, Ass. Prof. A. Germanavicious presented data regarding the attitudes of psychiatrists towards users’ participation.


The 2nd plenary session was about TRAINING USER TRAINERS AND USER RESEARCHERS. E. Jouet from Maison Blance Hospital Research Laboratory (Paris) talked about the historical changes in the role of users in mental health. M. TORRENTALLÉ from Salut Mental La Noguera presented the Prospect programme and the importance of the users’ personal view on recovery. M. MUNARRIZ (Asociación Española de Neuropsiquiatría) presented the guide “Guia Partisam” for an effective participation of mental health users.


In the 3rd plenary session experiences concerning the training of professionals by users were presented by the London (Middlesex University), Anadalucia (Escuela de Salud Pública de Andalucía), Barcelona (Parc de Salut Mar) and Ljubljana (University of Ljubljana).


In the final session was about FIGHTING AGAINST STIGMA and EXPLORING NEW STRATEGIES with the participation of activists (Associació Emilia BCN, Obertament, Xarxa Antiestigma Hospitalet) and a journalist. Important activities that include consultation, support families members, networking of local counterparts, and dissemination of good practices were presented. A broad discussion between the panel participants and the audience followed regarding the difficulties of the media to accept and publish mental health issues and ways that can facilitate communication between stakeholders. 


Tim Greacen, Chairman of Enter, closed the congress by thanking all that worked for it and all participants and with the message that recovery works and it’s everyone’s role and responsibility to defend users participation and involvement.


Last updated:15.07.2014

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