Thessaloniki holds special significance for the CAMHI, given the effort underway to progressively develop a Center of Excellence under the future Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) University Pediatric Hospital of Thessaloniki. As such and to best serve the needs of the country’s second largest city, the CAMHI aims to formalize partnerships with child and adolescent mental health departments and clinics as well as multiple institutions in Thessaloniki.
The Network on Child and Adolescent Mental Health is an integral component of the CAMHI and a central vehicle for its design and implementation. It is made up of local Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMH) hubs in Alexandroupoli, Thessaloniki, Ioannina, Athens, and Heraklion in Crete to ensure that the program best addresses the diverse and context-specific needs faced in different parts of the country—including remote and underserved settings.
The Network operates in partnership with the Child Mind Institute (CMI) to co-create and implement the various components of the Initiative and ensure the cultural adaptation of its deliverables. The Network’s mission is to:
- Co-design and deliver state-of-the-art, targeted basic and specialized trainings in child and adolescent mental health nationwide
- Develop networks of consultation and collaboration with providers in public hospitals and mental health providers;
- Raise awareness about mental health
- Conduct multi-layered research that underpins the Initiative and which will be made freely available to the community
- Facilitate local adaptation and use of technological tools as part of mental health care
The Network is integrated into child psychiatric clinics and community centers at public hospitals in the five hub locations to guarantee that trainings and implementation of the Initiative are adapted to the needs arising within the public sector with an emphasis on ensuring sustainability following the completion of the project. Acknowledging the importance of working across sectors to address child and adolescent mental health effectively, beyond working directly with mental health professionals, the Network also collaborates with educators and social welfare providers to offer resources, training, and support to professionals working with children and adolescents more broadly across the country.
To date, three Memorandums of Understanding have been signed between the CAMHI, the Hellenic Ministry of Health as well as relevant local public hospitals, university child and adolescent and adult psychiatric clinics for the establishment of the Network’s first three hubs in Alexandroupoli, Ioannina and Heraklion in Crete.
In Athens, the CAMHI is in the final planning phase of its upcoming partnership with the ‘Paidon Agia Sofia’ Children’s Hospital, where the SNF Health Initiative has also committed a complementary grant for renovating a building within the hospital complex to house needs of the CAMHI and expand mental health services for children and adolescents in direct collaboration with ‘Paidon Agia Sofia’.
The Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMH) Network of the CAMHI was officially launched in early 2022 through a partnership with the University General Hospital of Alexandroupoli and the hospital’s Child Psychiatric Clinic. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the Hospital and Child Psychiatric Clinic, the CAMHI, and the Hellenic Ministry of Health marked the official creation of the Alexandroupoli hub as a collaborating center for the Network which serves not only the city of Alexandroupolis, but also the broader region of Thrace and nearby islands.
The University General Hospital of Ioannina and the Psychiatric Clinic of PAGNI play a critical role in expanding the scope of the CAMHI and offering child and adolescent mental health resources and care in Northwest Greece. Based on an MoU between the Hospital and Child Psychiatric Clinic, the CAMHI, and the Hellenic Ministry of Health, the Ioannina hub joined the Network as a critical center, serving the broad geographic region of Epirus and delivering support to historically underserved communities.
As the largest island in Greece, the creation of the Crete hub, through an MoU between the University of Crete, the Child Psychiatric Clinic of the University General Hospital of Crete, the CAMHI and the Ministry of Health, was essential for the CAMHI Network. In addition to serving Heraklion – Crete’s largest city, the Crete hub is responsible for delivering resources and care to a huge catchment area that includes smaller communities and remote locations as well as other islands.
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