One year of the project “Mental Health Hub” for unaccompanied minors

The project “Mental Health Hub” was developed and implemented by the Special Secretariat for the Protection of Unaccompanied Minors and the SOS Children’s Villages with the purpose of supporting and promoting the mental health of unaccompanied minors as well as further enhancing the skills of mental health professionals.

The project has been continuously running for one year since its launch on May 2022, and in its current phase, it mainly focuses on providing group therapy and support sessions to children, in Arabic, English and Farsi languages and in the premises of the SOS Children’s Villages of Athens and Thessaloniki. Further, a guide for psychological intervention in Hospitality Centers for Unaccompanied Minors has recently been developed.

The Ambassador of the Republic of Austria in Greece, Hermine Poppeller, visited on May 25th the Support Centers for Children and Families of the SOS Children’s Villages in Athens, for the celebration of the one-year anniversary of the project. She was greeted by the President of the SOS Children’s Villages, Antonis Alakiotis, the Special Secretariat for the Protection of Unaccompanied Minors, Heracles Moskoff, the Director of the SOS Children’s Villages, George Protopappas, as well as the Implementation Managers, Claire Pavlaki and Christanthi Tatsi. The Ambassador was briefed on the development of the project and had the opportunity to discuss with the children and the mental health professionals.

Further, on the occasion of “Mental Health Month,” the two organizations conducted a training seminar for professionals. Dr Nancy Baron who is the Founder-Director of the Psychosocial Services and Training Institute in Cairo (PSTIC) with specialization in mental health care for communities and families in emergency situations served as the instructor of the seminar. The training aimed to enhance the skills of the personnel of Hospitality Centers and help prepare and educate children on the tool “I Support my Friends”- a solidarity and intervention tool developed by WHO, UNICEF, MHPSS Collaborative and Save the Children.

More that 600 professionals and 20 organizations have participated in professional trainings, while clinical supervision is provided monthly in 43 Hospitality Centers for Unaccompanied Minors.

The Project is funded by the Government Tirol and the SOS Children’s Villages of Austria.

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