Virtual Europe Region meetings
After the summer break, the European working groups and the Order's representative office in Brussels have now resumed working.
Despite the difficulties associated with the current pandemic phase and the impossibility of organising face-to-face meetings, the geographic and language barriers have been overcome thanks to everyone’s goodwill and putting the new technologies to good use.
On Tuesday 15 September, the first multilingual meeting was organised using the ZOOM platform and the European Working Group on Mental Health was also involved. Of course, the impact of the pandemic on the psychiatric care services of the Hospitaller Order was one of the main issues discussed in the virtual session: among the main problems reported were the need to ensure continuity of care for patients despite the constraints and strict safety measures, and the problems caused by depression due to the loss or lack of work. The group then analysed the matters that had been identified at the meeting at the beginning of the year as priority areas: combating addiction, mental health in the workplace, continuity of care, combating stigma and raising the public awareness of mental health. It was therefore decided to organise a special session dedicated to the "Mental Health First" programme, which will be coordinated by the staff of the Order's psychiatric hospital in Dublin and will be open to participation by other psychiatry professionals from the European provinces.
On 18 September, the meeting of European Provincial Liaison Persons taking part in the activities of the Hospitality Europe office in Brussels was convened, once again using the Zoom platform. The members updated each other on the EU projects being implemented in the provinces and those in the pipeline pending the new European calls for projects. Here again, despite the restrictio have been continuing remotely and the members were able to experience the possibility of working remotely while remaining constantly connected with the other European countries.
Dr Galasso also moderated a discussion on the consequences of the Coronavirus emergency on the social inclusion services for the most vulnerable groups, which was also attended by the head of the Order's social care working group.
Brother Joaquim Erra attended both meetings and urged the members to remain strong over the coming months which, although fraught with uncertainty, may yet prove to mark the beginning of a new way of networking in the European Region of the Hospitaller Order.