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Second European Webinar Trauma Informed Care


Sophia is a lead partner in an Erasmus+ funded project in Trauma Informed Care and Psychologically Informed Environments. The project will see three European seminars being held, one in Cork, one in Lisbon and the final in Rome. Each will focus on a different aspect of Trauma Informed Care and Psychologically Informed Environments and their implementation, use and impact in Homeless Services.


As part of the project a number of webinars are being held. The first webinar took place last October and Dr Peter Cockercell introduced staff from each partner organisation to the key concepts of Trauma Informed Care. The second webinar was held today, hosted by the Centro Hospitalar Psiquiátrico De Lisboa. Focussing on Psychological supports and the complexity of need in homeless people in Lisbon.


The Central Psychiatric Hospital of Lisbon has provided innovative interventions to support people who are homeless and have mental health support needs, such as their open group therapy support for homeless people in Lisbon. The hospital is also one of 31 partners in Lisbon who form the Homeless Planning and Intervention Centre.


The Erasmus+ project on Trauma Informed Care is one that has been in the pipeline for a number of years. All the partners are members of SMES Europa, SMES Europa is a European network of experts and professionals, working at the intersection of homelessness and mental health. SMES Europa provides a forum for the effective development and exchange of best practice models across the EU for supporting people who have mental health support needs and who are also experiencing homelessness. It was this forum that led to all of the partners working together with Centro Hospitalar Psiquiátrico De Lisboa on a previous Erasmus Project which they led. That project resulted in the publication of manual for front line staff who work with people who were homeless and have mental health support needs.


While working together on that innovative project, the partners recognised the impact of trauma on those each supports and this led to Sophia becoming the lead partner with these exceptional organisations from across the EU on our project on Trauma Informed Care.


The partners of this project are:

  • Caritas in Warsaw

  • SMES Europa

  • The Marignalisation Cordination Group of Tuscany ODV

  • Society of Social Psychiatry and Mental Health

  • The Saint John of God health Park in Barcelona

  • Project Udenfor

  • Central Psychiatric Hospital in Lisbon

  • Midlands Simon Community, Sophia’s collaborative partner is also a partner in our Trauma Informed Care project.

The subject of trauma and its impact on homeless people globally is one that Sophia’s founder Jean Quinn with Unanima International have been highlighting globally at the UN. Its impact on those we work with is beginning to be better understood and our practices and services are being improved by recognising it.


The speakers at today’s webinar were:


Dr Antonio Bento head of Psychiatry at Centro Hospitalar Psiquiátrico De Lisboa. Antonio has 30 years experience working with homeless people and refugees. Graduating in medicine from the Faculty of Medical Sciences Lisbon in 1978. He has authored dozens of articles and is the co author of Without love, Without Home with Elias Barreto, a key text on homelessness in Portugal.Antonio’s work was recognised by the City Council of Lisbon in 2018 when he was awarded the Medal of Social Merit.


Elias Barreto, a Clinical psychologist who began working with homeless people in 1994, in an outreach project and a day centre for homeless people with Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa, an organisation that has provided supports for over 700 years! His Master’s thesis was on “Attachment styles and Object Relations in homeless” (2000) He has Co -authored Without Love on homeless with António Bento (2002) Since 2003 Elias has been working in the Lisbon Psychiatric Hospital Centre, continuing his work with homeless people. He is a board member of SMES Europa and was the lead in the Erasmus + Project- “Dignity & Well-Being

Professor João Gama Marques received his MD and PhD degrees from Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, where he is teaching at Clínica Universitária de Psiquiatria e Psicologia Médica. His clinical work is based at Clínica de Psiquiatria Geral e Transcultural, Hospital Júlio de Matos, Centro Hospitalar Psiquiátrico de Lisboa, mainly with homeless patients with treatment resistant schizophrenia.


Dr Francisco Moniz Pereira received his degree in Medicine from the Faculty of Medical Sciences of Lisbon. He has a Master’s Degree in Psychiatry from the Faculty of Medicine of Lisbon, having presented the thesis: Psychiatric comorbidity in drug addicts. He has a PhD in Psychology from Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa and is a Psychiatry Consultant at Centro Hospitalar Psiquiátrico de Lisboa. He is part of the faculty of the Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa where he teaches the subject of Psychopathology. He is also a member of the board of the Portuguese Centre for Support to Victims of Torture.


The webinar gave attendees insight into the level of support need of the people who are homeless in Lisbon and the interventions that are provided. From the levels of dual diagnosis to the effects of isolation during the pandemic on those who have a mental health support need.


What resonated throughout the webinar was the importance of a sense of security, reliability and trust and how deeply that affects us all. How recognising and listening to those who are supported by health, homeless and other services need to be heard when receiving that support, and that this is integral to how service will evolve to better meet peoples need. Central ideas in Trauma Informed care and Psychologically Informed Environments.


A huge thank you to all partners in the project and to Leargas who have been so supportive of all Erasmus Projects over the past 18 months. A third European Webinar on Trauma Informed Care is planned for later in the Summer.

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