The active role of APEMH Quality Development Unit after the EAMHID Congress in 2017

APEMH continues the development of the contacts established during the 2017 Luxembourg EAMHID Congress through Erasmus+ mobility Programme

During the international EAMHID Congress in Luxembourg (September 2017) several participants from the hosting organisation, APEMH, had the opportunity to assist to different pre-courses, workshops and/or symposia focused on emotional development and mental health in persons with intellectual disability (ID). The interest to further deepen this subject and explore new ways to identify application fields in their services motivated the APEMH ?Quality Development Unit? to apply for a mobility project through Key action 1 in the European Erasmus+ Programme.

The project was accepted by the national agency under the title ?Promoting the social inclusion of people with I.D. living with mental health issues by acting in a systemic approach on their Quality of Life and access to Mental Health Care?

This exchange project foresees a total of 17 mobilities over a 2 years? period (2018-2019), to 5 different partners, identified for their expertise on the chosen topic:

  • University College Gent & P.C. Dr. Guislain ? Belgium (contact: Filip Morisse);
  • Association AMPANS in Barcelona ? Catalonia/Spain (contact: Janeta Camps);
  • Association UNAPEI in Paris ? France;
  • Tilburg University ? the Netherlands (contact: Carlo Schuengel)
  • Psychiatric Department of Evangelisches Krankenhaus K?nigin Elisabeth in Berlin ? Germany (contact: Tanja Sappock).

The first mobility to Gent took place in October 2018, and saw a delegation of 6 staff members from APEMH having rich exchanges over two days, perfectly organised under the supervision of Filip Morisse and Erik De Belie.

The programme was organised in an wise mix of:

  • targeted lectures on the Emotional Development Approach, Team-Coaching based on the learning model of ?High Impact Learning?, a Coaching Framework around stress-regulation and mentalisation and Person centred Support to enhance Quality of Life in people with ID;
  • visits to services and exchanges with social workers and therapists applying these approaches on the field.

Some first conclusions and evaluation out of this first exchange of good practices:

  • It was a perfect opportunity for staff members (pedagogues, psychologists, management and training professionals) to familiarise with structured support approaches, tools and practical applications, and exchange directly with peers;
  • It was good to have reference models to illustrate core values and quality support for users and staff, in a co-productive way;
  • Strengthening attitudes linked to everyday interventions, and helping to make the impact more visible;
  • It was interesting to focus on the impact of environment and support staff (in addition to impact on users): it helps to better supervise staff, support them in changing attitudes and have objective tools to work on what teams really need.

Another concrete output of this visit was the exchange and transfer of tools and research articles on the treated subjects, as well as first proposals for future possible collaborations: setting up of supporting tools and outcome evaluation tools  (with a possible translation of them) at APEMH level, and an adaption of the MENTEMO game to support and promote the emotional availability of the staff involved.

Finally, we can say that this first exchange of good practises gave us a good example of what could be a more regular and constructive collaboration between our 2 European NGOs, EAMHID and ARFIE, and their members, to promote mental health and quality of life of persons with intellectual disabilities and their environment. These projects give an excellent opportunity to link research and applied studies to staff training, as well as practical support experiences on the field.

The Erasmus+ programme proposes different key actions that promotes and facilitate these collaborations and partnerships: mobility programmes, exchange of good practice projects, strategical partnerships, etc.

We should promote and amplify this sort of cooperation using the rich opportunities and expertise offered by our NGOs’ networks!!

A big thanks again to Filip and his team for this positive experience. We are looking forward to the next mobilities to enforce this first experience ?.. and hoping to have stimulated your interest to multiply these co-productive attempts for collaboration.

(Raymond Ceccotto ? APEMH Foundation)

APEMH Quality Development Unit at the Gent University College

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