International Mental Health Collaborating Network

Big issues identified by Covid-1

Requiring Fundamental Change in Mental Health

A Local and Global Action Plan in Development

The Action Plan is the result of the work with a coalition of organisations representing people with lived experience; who use services; family members, mental health professionals, policy makers and researchers and has been adopted by a Coalition of International Organisations:

  • International Mental Health Collaborating Network
  • World Federation for Mental Health
  • World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation 
  • Mental Health Europe
  • European Community based Mental Health Service Providers Network (EUCOMS)
  • Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Networks (GAMIAN)
  • Human Rights Monitoring Institute (HRMI)
  • Italian Society of Psychiatric Epidemiology (SIEP) 
  • Transforming Australia’s Mental Health Service System, Incorporated

The Action Plan addresses the need for fundamental change in mental health that should prioritise improving mental health by focusing on social determinants and achieving equity in mental health care for all people worldwide. 

These targets are for people and organisations to use locally within their communities and mental health services.

We are now actively seeking the support of all organisations and services that want to be part of this campaign for fundamental change.

We welcome other organisations and individuals to join us.

Contact us at [email protected]

February 11th 2021: 18-19 CET: Zero Project

The right to work: employment and deinstitutionalization

Zoom Meeting, February 11th 2021: 18-19 CET

Zoom link

Meeting ID: 810 3282 0250 Passcode: 070083

The link between employment opportunities and deinstitutionalization in psychosocial disabilities   

IMHCN is facilitating a workshop as part of the Zero Project International Online Conference. The Zero Project finds and shares models that improve the daily lives and legal rights of all persons with disabilities and we will address this topic through the lens of mental health. The Zero Project - For a world without barriers is a UN Nations partner project.

This year’s theme is Employment and ICT (have a look at their website
Our presentations will focus on the international context of vocational rehabilitation and job placement; on deinstitutionalization in Europe today, with the example of the reform process in Slovenia, e.g. the project of developing job opportunities in the social care home Dom Na Krasu, Dutovlje, Slovenia, during the process of phasing out; on successful models as IPS and social cooperatives / enterprises and ICT examples.
The Zero Project was initiated by the Essl Foundation in 2008, with its mission on supporting the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) of the United Nations and to work for a world without barriers. The approach of the Zero Project is to research and share Innovative Practice and Policies worldwide, by engaging with a worldwide cross-sectoral network of innovators, decision-makers and opinion leaders. More than 5,000 experts, with and without disabilities, in over 150 countries, have been actively contributing to the Zero Project in the past years. In a four-year-cycle, each year the Zero Project focuses on one of these four topics: Employment, Accessibility, Independent Living and Political Participation and Education. Since 2020, ICT is the second focus of every year.
In their yearly International Conference, innovative practices and policies accomplishing human rights for people with disabilities are prized after a rigorous process of evaluation (Trieste MH services were prized in 2015 for article 19 of CRPD, “independent living and participation to community”).
The link between employment opportunities and deinstitutionalization in psychosocial disabilities
Presentations will focus on the international context of vocational rehabilitation and job placement; on deinstitutionalization in Europe today, with the example of the reform process in Slovenia, e.g. the project of developing job opportunities in the social care home Dom Na Krasu, Dutovlje, Slovenia, during the process of phasing out; on successful models as IPS and social cooperatives / enterprises and ICT examples.

Health and legal implications of the "right to work" will be linked to its practical implementation, as far as community based developments and programs are concerned. Italy provided during 4o years an overall framework for development of “real work for a real pay”, and especially Trieste is an historical and still current example of integration of social cooperatives in deinstitutionalization, rehabilitation and social inclusion policies. The prospect of recovery confirmed the role of work opportunities for people with psychosocial disabilities, within all human rights

The audience invited will include wide networks of progressive mental health organizations, NGOs, social cooperatives and social firms / enterprises, people with psychosocial disabilities. The information will be spread through our website and, and other relevant networks (MHE), human rights movement, institutions in Slovenia, Italy, Czech Republic, UK, etc.

The objective of the session is to provide a distinctive opportunity for the leaders across different ends of the disability inclusion spectrum to share their insights on leadership, vision and strategy for diversity and inclusion. The three ends of the disability inclusion that the panel will represent are mental health service providers, NGOs and employers.

We aim to create awareness and networking amongst the employers, Persons with disabilities and other professionals working in the disability space globally. It is an interactive session where panelists will discuss the innovative ideas adopted by them for the inclusion of PWD at the workplace. The session will give an insight on how innovation and technology has strengthened the workforce by accommodating the needs of persons with disabilities and how services will provide these opportunities within comprehensive care, while moving out of closed institutions.

Inclusive practices not only support people with Disabilities, inclusion creates a more accepting and supportive workplace for all the employees. The session will address the key challenges and solutions of disability inclusion at the workplace and points out that this is the mainstream for transforming services to address the social determinants of health.

Key Takeaways

• The key challenges faced by organizations working in human rights perspective to help persons with psychosocial disabilities in entering the job market

• Best practices from services and employers on hiring and on boarding persons with disabilities, in the framework of deinstitutionalization

• Challenges and opportunities to invest in disability sector as a funder, through social enterprise and cooperative societies

• Interventions and programs on how to make your organization disability inclusive


Deinstitutionalization in Europe Today

John Jenkins IMHCN Chair

Jan Pfeiffer, Ministry of Health, Czech Republic

Individual Placement and Support in Italy and Europe 

Roberto Mezzina, IMHCN, WFMH

The international context of vocational rehabilitation and job placement

Angelo Fioritti, DSMDP, AUSL Bologna 

The project in Dutovlje

Andreja Rafaelic, Lead Project, Dom Na Krasu, Dutovlje, Slovenia

Rene Vremec, Project Team Dom Na Krasu, Dutovlje, Slovenia 

  Experiences of social cooperatives in Trieste

Stefania Grimaldi, Cooperativa Sociale La Collina, Trieste

Co-ordination of session

Paul Baker , IMHCN, UK


Paradigm Shift in Mental Health in the Post-Covid era

Monday, 31st August 2020

h 10,00-13,00 CET (Rome) 

 A Zoom Round Table Webinar

Register in advance for this webinar:

or you can view on YouTube via the ESOF2020 Festival on the day

Supported by:

  • International Mental Health Collaborating Network 
  • World Federation for Mental Health 
  • Mental Health Europe 
  • European Community based Mental Health Service Providers (EUCOMS) Network 
  • World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation 
  • Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Networks (GAMIAN) 
  • and others

In the year we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the death of Franco Basaglia, we are co-hosting a Round Table Webinar for the ESOF2020 Festival, in Trieste, Italy. 

This event is for everybody concerned with meeting the whole lives needs of people with mental health issues. We believe that learning from the Coronavirus Pandemic and the last 50 years is a time for fundamental change.

We have embarked upon creating a coalition of international partners to address the need for citizen and community mental health to be at the heart of social-economic system thinking and service development.

This approach is based on understanding of the learnt resilience of our people during this pandemic and how the efforts of public bodies, (including health systems, civil society organisations, politicians and citizens) should better meet the whole life needs of people.

This important event is aimed at all people, including service users, family mental health professionals, NGO’s, policy makers and all stakeholders including citizens. The reason for this meeting is to grow support for out Action Plan and to call upon the wider international, national and local communities to promote this call for a paradigm change at this opportune time. 

For further information about the contributors and the programme go here

International and National Responses to the impact of COVID - 19 on mental health needs and services

We are collating information about the responses of international organisations and national governments. Here you will find reports written by IMHCN Members; briefing documents and articles:

Meeting the whole life needs of a person through
a community whole systems approach

The IMHCN and its partners have been at the forefront of pioneering community mental health services for the last twenty years.

    • The objective is to build an integrated and comprehensive system with widespread community ownership capable of meeting the identified whole life needs of individuals and local communities.
    • It is widely acknowledged that this will improve peoples quality of life and provide opportunities for recovery from mental health issues. However, closing institutions does not necessarly lead to ending institutional thinking and practice.
    • If these reforms are to be effective we should start by changing the thinking and practices within institutions by creating and applying a whole life recovery approach.
    • This work brings many challenges and opportunities for people with mental health issues, family members, mental health workers, services and communities.
  • We have designed programmes to assist people and organisations to make these changes which are being developed and have been implemented across the world.

You can read more about our work here.

We invite you to join us as members (services, individuals and communities) in promoting and developing our work in your country and internationally. For more information about membership go here.



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