Salford Staff Channel : News


Mental health marketplace showcases international collaboration

May 23, 2018


Colleagues from the School of Health and Society held a “mental health marketplace” yesterday with representatives from six countries showcasing collaborative approaches to mental health care in the European Union.

The showcase was part of a three-year Erasmus+ project called STRENCO,  which aims to strengthen knowledge and working practices across all professions involved with mental health through international collaboration with academics, students, service users and professionals. Key outputs include developing innovative ways of teaching and new methods of assessing key competencies.

The STRENCO partnership comprises representatives from Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK), Finland; Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences (JAMK), Finland; Vives University (Zuid), Belgium; the Technological Educational Institute of Athens (T.E.I. of Athens), Greece and Trinity College, Dublin who spent last week working at Salford to develop a range of e-learning products and tools displayed in the showcase.

Neil Withnell, Associate Dean Academic Quality Assurance and a qualified mental health nurse said: “Millions of people are affected by mental health difficulties each year, with Northern England being amongst the worst affected area in the UK. In this context, persistent efforts must continue to address some of the existing challenges, for example cultural issues, social isolation, information provision. This first intensive STRENCO week at Salford and the innovative products displayed by the multi-professional team demonstrates that co-production could drive significant positive changes within mental health”

Dr Mariyana Schoultz, lecturer in mental health said: “SalfordIPWeekSTRENCO was about strengthening multi-professional collaboration and competencies in mental health in an international context, through co-production with academics, students, service users and professionals. The innovative products produced in the intensive week by the multi professional and multinational team were developed through exchanging knowledge, enthusiasm, commitment and a shared passion for improving collaborations in mental health internationally. The participants left the week as experts in collaborative work, using creative methods such as gamification and with a promise to go back into practice to share what they had learned at Salford.

Michiel Debacker, a belgian nursing student said: "It has been great to see how things are different in other countries and work together to come up with ideas for improving how we all work. In Belgium, we do 4 years general nursing with a range of internships. This opportunity has come just before my Mental Health internship and I’m really looking forward to that now as I have gained lots of new, fresh ideas to bring to my learning.” 

Zara Khan, a mental health nursing student from Salford added: "This has been an amazing opportunity, we all came from different places but worked as a group and bonded as we learned together. We’ve come up with some brilliant ideas and I’m sad the week is over!” 

Pictured below l to r: Mihaela Stancu (Nursing – Mental Health, Salford); Zara Khan (Nursing  - Mental Health, Salford); Katariina Koskinen (3rd year Nursing, Finland); Michiel Debacker (1st year Nursing, Belgium)













You can follow the conversation on social media #SalfordIPWeekSTRENCO