We are inviting you to participate in the inspiring conference entitled Mental Health Centers - a revolution or evolution in the system?, which will take place in Wrocław on 30 September 2022, between 9.00 - 17.30. Experts from the World Health Organization, Italy,  the Czech Republic and Poland will be the speakers at this conference.

The aim of the conference is to cast a view over the ongoing process of changes in the mental health system in Poland from different perspectives, learning from each other and searching for answers to many questions, including the question posed in the title of the conference.

We will start with the European perspective because long before the announcement of the National Mental Health Programme in Poland, European guidelines were developed for the transition from institutionalised care to services available within the local community. This process was called deinstitutionalisation, and, among others, the World Health Organization was involved in its promotion. Dr Ledia Lazeri will present a unique experience of working on WHO projects in various countries. Italy was among the first countries to take up the challenge of reforming their system - which Dr Roberto Mezzina will talk about. However, in Central and Eastern Europe, Czechs can boast major achievements in this field, as presented by our guest Dr Jan Pfeiffer.

The second to be discussed is the Polish perspective. Since 2018, preparations for systemic reform have been underway through the pilot of Mental Health Centres (Centra Zdrowia Psychicznego, hereinafter: CZP). Some say, “This is a revolution! It requires a change in many people's way of thinking and acting within a short time. There are many risks to be taken, we are afraid of too radical changes".  On the other hand, others say: "The whole process shall take place through the evolution of the system. It requires time, implementation of new organizational standards, evaluation of each stage, drawing conclusions, introducing corrections and ...further action".

In view of this discussion, we will reach for information from the source itself - our speaker will be Dr Anna Depukat, MD, PhD, Head of the Office for the Pilot National Mental Health Programme.  We will also learn about the results of the first study of the effectiveness of the CZP - they will be presented by a psychiatrist and epidemiologist renowned in Poland and abroad, Prof. Andrzej Kiejna, PhD. Furthermore, we will learn about the experience of having worked in the environment of two CZPs (in Wieliczka and Nowy Targ) - our speakers will be experts employed at both the centers: Beata Walter, Mariusz Panek, Ewa Piątkowska and Ewa Makieła.

The third perspective is the perspective of the psychiatric hospital in Wrocław, which, on its own initiative, became involved in the creation of the CZP for one district of the city. How was this achieved? What are the first results? How can other psychiatric hospitals be involved in the transition to community based work? - Michał Stachów, President of the Dolnośląskie Mental Health Center, will answer these questions. On the other hand, the environmental work of CZP Wrocław Psie Pole will be presented in more detail by its manager - Oliwia Kozak. There is yet another issue: the integration of healthcare and social services. There is a lot of talk about this matter, yet the Wroclaw-based CZP simply invited a partner from the social sector - Opieka i Troska Foundation. This cooperation and the achievements of the foundation, which has been operating for 15 years, will be discussed by Anna Kraucz-Miękus, its director.

Finally, we will learn the answers to the questions troubling many today: What are the prerequisites of success? How to achieve the goals set before the Pilot by the Minister of Health? How to cover the whole of Poland with mental health centres until 2027, so that every Pole has access to services fit for the 21st century?

In this section, we will hear:
⁃    Magdalena Nowak – vice Chancellor of the University of Lower Silesia, which educates the staff for the CZP.
⁃    Krzysztof Henczek – recovery assistant
⁃    Regina Bisikiewicz – facilitator of the process of change and development
⁃    Olga Khan – a representative of the World Health Organization in Poland.

May the conference be guided by the motto "The reform of the mental health care system in Poland is our Common Cause". This means that the responsibility for its success rests with all of us - from the government to the professional circles and civic organizations to educational and scientific institutions, including the important participation of the users of the system and their families.

Today, we are looking forward to meeting you in Wrocław on 30.09.2022, at a conference that plays a part in the process of changes in the Polish mental health system.

The participation in the conference is free of charge. We provide simultaneous translation Polish - English, materials and refreshments.

The deadline for the registration expires on 21.09.2022. Considering the fact that there is much interest in the conference while the number of participants is limited to only 200, we encourage you to secure your place as soon as possible.

On behalf of the organizers

Michał Stachów                     Magdalena Nowak              Prof. Andrzej Kiejna, PhD