On March 29th - 30th, 2018, Fountain House Director of External Affairs Jeff Aron travelled to Lille, France to participate in the World Health Organization Collaborating Center (WHOCC) meetings, on the theme: "Active Citizenship & Empowerment in Community Mental Health: Participative Innovations in France and Abroad."
Jeff presented at a session on the Fountain House approach with Kevin Barnas, a member of the De Waterheuval Clubhouse in Amsterdam. As part of their presentation, they described the process through which members recover - developing strong bonds within a community of support where they are needed and empowered to engage as active citizens.
Jeff also chaired the conference's opening plenary: New challenges for citizens in the mental health system - international perspectives, which featured WHO Director of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Dr. Shekhar Saxena and Sir Graham Thornicroft, Professor of Community Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London.
While at the meeting in France, Jeff had the opportunity to speak about Fountain House's upcoming international conference: Healthier, Longer Lives for People with Serious Mental Illness. The international conference Healthier, Longer Lives for People with Serious Mental Illness will take place on November 8-9, 2018 in New York City. The conference is created by Fountain House in partnership with World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Global Mental Health at Columbia University Medical Center, Grand Challenges Canada and citiesRISE, with technical support from the World Health Organization. The conference will: showcase innovations from around the world that are improving the health of people with serious mental illness; present new scientific advances; raise awareness of effective interventions; engage partners in other fields; and create a space to inspire investment in and implementation of best practices.