Considering stigmatization and dysfunctional public attitudes to mental disorders, we gave emphasis to the “domino effect” and “brand building”, where:
• active members and stakeholders of community mental health promotion undergo synergy-based network building;
• the awareness raising of the target groups and the knowledge transfer adapted to the target group both are performed;
• finally, trained network stakeholders transfer knowlegde to the community or the general public, and mental health awareness starts to improve in the region concerned.
The staff members of the HPO-MHPC offices in the six micro-regions involved in the project participated in a comprehensive training programme. The training approach adopted for the project was based on the “Train the Trainer” (TTT) model, whereby participants acquire and master all skills and knowledge required for transferring knowledge and skills to others. Particular emphasis was laid in the TTT courses on skills required for the performance of the tasks of the HPO-MHPC personnel.
• Knowledge transfer – that is, transferring of theoretical and practical knowledge elements and skills acquired in the TTT courses
• Awareness raising – enhancing awareness and a proactive approach concerning mental health
• Networking – that is, building relationships among professionals directly or indirectly involved in dealing with issues relating to mental health
• Prevention – prevention of the development of mental health problems; prevention and early detection of illnesses
• Identification of needs – exploring mental health-related deficiencies in local communities
Our assessments and measurements indicate that TTT educations were popular, had mobilising power, knowledge was transferred at a high rate of efficiency, stigmatising attitudes towards depression were measurably reduced, confidence in being able to help someone in suicidal crisis was increased, and the majority of participants declared that they would further transfer the knowledge acquired. Thus, the need for reliable information transfer regarding mental health is universal, and knowledge and community building is positively valued by motivated professional helpers, and its effectiveness is measurable on the short term. These results indicate that the concept of the project and the MHPC model have been effective (verifiably, at least on the short term).