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Arch Hellen Med, 31(1), January-February 2014, 71-76


Community mental health teams in Greece: The paradigm of Mobile Mental Health Units

V. Peritogiannis,1 V. Mavreas2
1Mobile Mental Health Unit of the Prefectures of Ioannina and Thesprotia, Society for the Promotion of Mental Health in Epirus, Ioannina,
2Department of Psychiatry, University of Ioannina, Medical School, Ioannina, Greece

The care in the community of psychiatric patients according to the principles of community psychiatry is currently considered the best way of delivering mental health services. The importance of community mental health teams has been recognized worldwide and it is well known that these teams can provide effective and acceptable care. In Greece the Mobile Mental Health Unit (MMHU) constitutes an example of the provision of mental health care for patients living in remote and deprived rural areas. The basic operational principles of Greece's MMHUs are presented here and their clinical and research work and some of their important educational initiatives and promotional activities are described. The differences between the various teams in terms of operation are discussed, and the challenges they face are identified. Finally, reference is made to the outlook for such, low cost care services in the context of economic crisis, which increases the rate of certain mental disorders while reducing the resources available for mental health care.

Key words: Community mental health teams, Economic crisis, Mobile mental health units, Primary health care.

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