To enhance child and adolescent mental health care capacity and to help strengthen the infrastructure for the prevention, assessment, and treatment of mental health struggles faced by children and adolescents across Greece.
Every child, adolescent, and family in Greece has access to quality mental health care and resources.
The majority of all mental health and learning challenges arise during childhood but are often overlooked and left untreated, which can lead to long-term difficulties persisting into adulthood. However, research has shown that these real and common issues can be treated, and the earlier a child receives care, the better the outcome. Providing children and adolescents with mental health care can result in a lifetime of improved health and well-being.
Every child and adolescent has a right to the highest attainable standard of mental health care, yet access to quality resources and services has not been equitable. Income disparity, a shortage of mental health care providers, and geographic isolation are just a few of the many barriers to equitable care in Greece and worldwide. By making all our resources, trainings, and tools free and available to anyone, anywhere—from the biggest cities to the smallest islands—and by working with a network of providers serving different communities across the country, we aspire to help increase access to and equity of care.
We are leveraging state-of-the-art scientific and clinical research, conducted in Greece and around the world, to produce and culturally adapt reliable resources and effective treatments for all children and adolescents. This work is carried out through close collaborations between Greek and international mental health experts and is enhanced by input from local families and communities.
There are a variety of mental health treatments in use today, but not all are supported by science. Our training curriculum embraces a variety of approaches to address child and adolescent mental health challenges that are supported by rigorous, peer-reviewed research. In this way, the curriculum encompasses multiple schools of thought, with approaches that have been proven effective and are based on the best available evidence. It is designed to meet the realities of the public health system and maximize the benefit of the Initiative according to the needs and strengths on the ground.
One of the most challenging barriers to effective mental health care is lack of proper awareness about how common mental health conditions are and the existence of effective treatments, combined with widespread stigma, such as false ideas that mental health issues are imaginary or shameful. We know that mental health is an integral part of health and must be treated as such. We also know that mental health and developmental disorders are real, common, and treatable. That’s why we are working to open the conversation, to let everyone know that they are not alone. No one should feel ashamed, and everyone should be aware that help is available.
“Nothing about us without us.” Youth voices need to be heard and considered, and available resources and information must be effectively suited to their needs and adapted to their context and current reality. We will be systematically incorporating the views of children and adolescents across Greece into all of the Initiative’s components on an ongoing basis through the creation of five Youth Advisory Boards who will be operating in different Greek cities.
Establish a country-wide NETWORK ON CHILD AND ADOLESCENT MENTAL HEALTH
Raise AWARENESS about mental health
Increase ACCESS to evidence-based mental health resources
Enhance CAPACITY for delivering science-supported mental health care
Develop DIGITAL PLATFORMS & TECHNOLOGY FOR TELEMENTAL HEALTH
To achieve our Aims, the Initiative includes five mutually reinforcing components:
- Conduct a robust LANDSCAPE ANALYSIS to (1) assess the needs for mental health care for children, adolescents, and their families; (2) assess barriers and facilitators to accessing quality mental health care; (3) understand clinical practices, standards of care, and training needs from mental health and psychosocial care providers; and (4) identify barriers and facilitators for the development, cultural adaptation, and implementation of effective, accessible trainings.
- Build PARTNERSHIPS between clinicians across the country and internationally, fostering a sense of community that includes universities, public hospitals, community clinics and centers, nonprofit and community-based organizations, schools, parents, youth, and professional associations, to ensure that resources and trainings are culturally relevant, effective, and widely accessible.
- Establish and support a country-wide NETWORK ON CHILD AND ADOLESCENT MENTAL HEALTH to enhance national capacity for mental health care, to strengthen referral networks and platforms for exchange of best practice, and to pave the way for the uptake and scaling up of science-based practices.
- Deliver BASIC AND SPECIALIZED TRAINING PROGRAMS supported by science. The basic training program will provide information that every professional working with children should know about mental health and child protection. Specialized trainings in evidence-based psychotherapeutic treatments for health professionals will help to further increase capacity to deliver effective, scalable, measurable, and science-supported mental health care to children and adolescents in Greece.
- Develop and implement a DIGITAL PLATFORM AND TECHNOLOGY FOR TELEMENTAL HEALTH to:
- Facilitate and host free remote trainings so that more professionals and educators can access state of the art trainings and resources in a flexible and convenient manner
- Disseminate free, accessible, and reliable resources to caregivers, adolescents, professionals, and educators regardless of where they are located
- Transparently and openly share the data collected in the landscape analysis and related research so it is freely available for the Greek and international research communities
- Host awareness-raising and anti-stigma campaigns for the community
- Expand mental health care beyond conventional settings to make resources accessible even in the most remote areas
Scientific Advisory Board
A Scientific Advisory Board will oversee and advise the scientific direction of the Initiative. The Board is comprised of Greek and international experts in the implementation of evidence-based interventions around the world, the epidemiology of child and adolescent mental health, child psychiatry, and youth engagement, while also including members of civil society.
Youth Advisory Board
The Youth Advisory Boards will consist of adolescents aged 13 to 17 coming from different schools in the cities where they are based. They will meet every month with the support of youth coordinators and young facilitators who will empower the groups through team-building activities and consultation workshops. Each Youth Advisory Board will work independently based on its members’ preferences and dynamic but also in collaboration and connection with the rest of the Youth Advisory Boards, as well as their local school community.
Youth Advisory Board members will be connected with educators of their choice who will assist them in organizing relevant consultation activities in their schools or other settings in the scope of having wider feedback from youth on the Initiative’s priorities.
In that way, the views of children and adolescents will be systematically incorporated into all aspects of the Initiative.
About the Health Initiative
The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Initiative (CAMHI) is part of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) more than $750 million global Health Initiative.
The SNF Health Initiative comprises a multifaceted set of projects supported by SNF with the aim to enhance access to quality public health care for all. The Health Initiative was launched in 2018 in Greece, and has since expanded internationally to encompass a series of infrastructure, equipment procurement, training and educational programs as well as initiatives focused on mental health and infectious diseases.
The Greek arm of the Health Initiative, including the CAMHI, is implemented on the basis of an extensive public-private partnership between SNF and the Greek State. As enshrined in the legislation governing the Health Initiative, in collaboration with the Hellenic Ministry of Health, the CAMHI will be handed over for uptake by the Greek public health system upon completion of the five-year implementation period supported exclusively by SNF.
The Health Initiative is a testament to SNF’s mission, longstanding commitment to health, and support for projects that serve the public welfare in Greece and beyond.To learn more, visit the SNF Health Initiative website.
Let us know what topics you would like to see in our website