A Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course for mental health professionals working in Greek public sector remote mental health services with children, adolescents and families was organized by the Hellenic Systemic Thinking and Family Therapy Association (HESTAFTA), with the support of the "Stavros Niarchos" Foundation and within the Program "Child Mental Health" leaded by the Master in "International Medicine - Health Crises Management" - University of Athens Medical School. The three-year course (September 2011 - August 2014) aimed mainly to offer a baseline training in systemic interventions and clinical supervision to mental health professionals who didn’t have opportunities to access to further professional training and supervision, due to their geographical isolation; to implement the quality and efficacy of their interventions, and, last but not least, to create a network of mental health professionals, in order to facilitate communication, professional support and exchange. The CPD time period coincided with a rapid accumulation of the consequences of the Greek financial crisis, as public mental health services were considerably underfunded due to diminished public spending, and heavily burdened due to heightened workload related to the psychosocial effects of the crisis on the population. The CPD implementation was systematically monitored through a tool of both internal and external evaluation which utilized quantitative as wall as qualitative measures, with promising results.
Keywords: Continuing professional development, systemic therapy, mental health professionals, mental health and social services, financial crisis, Greece
Valeria Pomini, Maria-Io Akalestou, Vlassis Tomaras, Katia Charalabaki, Systemic education for mental health professionals in Greece in the time of the financial crisis in "RICERCHE DI PSICOLOGIA " 1/2017, pp. 125-142, DOI:10.3280/RIP2017-001006