STRENCO – Strengthening multi-professional competencies in mental health in an international context, through co-production with academics, students, service users and professionals

STRENCO, is an Erasmus+ project, developed under the KA203 Cooperation for Innovation and the Exchange of Good Practices – Strategic Partnerships for higher education through the Higher Education Authority in Ireland. The aim of this project is to strengthen collaboration between academics and students, service users and practitioners and to develop tools to assess multi-professional competences for mental health students in an international context. The project will run over 3 years with collaborating partners 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 the University of Salford University in the UK.
The project launched with a transnational project meeting in Dublin. The project has a core theme of working collaboratively in mental health with the emphasis on co-production in approaches. The project has three key objectives to develop:
• a tripartite approach to working in metal health, which emphasises the knowledge triangle, between education, research and work (in line with the EU Modernisation agenda), seeing service users, practitioners, and the university (academics and students), as partners in the development of new knowledge and a way of working, which values and respects those involved (Slay & Stephens 2013).
• co-produced eLearning materials for students, service users, practitioners and the wider public in line with the EU Commission’s Modernisation of Higher Education Agenda (2014) emphasises the development of new modes of learning and teaching in higher education.
• a competency assessment for mental health and Erasmus general, that will strengthen multi-professional competencies in mental health professionals in international context.
The aim is that this transnational co-operation will allow for the development of best practices and learning from the different members of the group’s diverse experiences, to enable the creation of new and innovative learning opportunities. By harnessing different working methods and experiences across countries, all parties will benefit and have greater knowledge and understanding that would be impossible in using a single national perspective. It is also hoped that active dissemination from the project will allow for the wider public to learn from the co-produced open source materials and methods developed over the course of the project.

At the launch of the STRENCO Erasmus+ Project – Dr Mark Monahan (Project Lead, TCD), Dr Angela Cotton (University of Salford), Dr Nina Kilkku (TAMK, Finland), Johan Mestdagh and Sien Seynhaeve (Vives University, Belgium), Katja Raitio (JAMK), Anne Kivimäki (TAMK, Finland), Dr Jean Morrissey (TCD), Dr Evanthia Sakellari (TEI-Athens).