Welsh-Italian mental health twinning

mentalhealthprofessMENTAL HEALTH profes­sionals in mid and west Wales have welcomed colleagues from Trieste, Italy, as part of a staff exchange programme with Hywel Dda UHB.

The event marked the first an­niversary of the signing of the first formal Mental Health International Twinning Agreement in Wales.

Trieste is recognised by the World Health Organisation as a centre of excellence for the delivery of mental health services, and it is hoped that the exchange will help inform a new model of mental health care currently being driven within Hywel Dda.

The vi sit has also provided the opportunity for health staff and stake­holders, such as local authority, police and carer representatives, to visit and learn from the work taking place in Trieste.

Delegates were provided with the opportunity to learn about and discuss the mental health models being de­livered within Hywel Dda, and those commissioned from third sector or­ganisations, with a view to using the information gathered during their trip to develop and strengthen these ser­vices in Trieste.

One of the Trieste delegates, Dan­iela Speh, Project Manager for Tri­este Mental Health Services, said: “I think that it’s really important for us to meet and exchange ideas.

“We can really learn from the techniques used in Hywel Dda and their unique issues are addressed well here. When we speak to the profes­sionals here, it is clear that they face similar issues to us.”

Libby Ryan-Davies, Director of Mental Health and Learning Disabil­ity Services at Hywel Dda UHB said: “We are delighted to welcome our visitors from the mental health ser­vice in Trieste.

“The twinning provides oppor­tunities for sharing good practice, learning from each other’s services, and solving challenges together via the established international learning sets.

“We are committed to continuing to develop our international relation­ship with our colleagues in Trieste, and are currently exploring oppor­tunities for formal training and staff placement.”

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Jon Coles

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