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Centro de Direito Biomédico

TRUST - Tailoring Law and Health Initiatives to promote Inclusion on Mental Illness

Erasmus+ Programme


Key Action 2 – Vocational Education and Training Strategic Partnerships

AGREEMENT n° 2017-1-PT01-KA202-035859




With the economic and social crisis, drug abuse, personal stress and longevity the numbers on mental illness are increasing and are being the focus of attention from the WHO (Mental Health Action Plan, 2013-2020). Partner countries are developing national strategies on Mental Health that encourage community-based services that will assure the maintenance of the family and friendship bonds. 


When questioned about mental illness people reveal they are still full of pre assumptions, even professionals that need to relate with these citizens. Worldwide strategies are being implemented in order to improve the contact of people with mental illness with the law enforcement and judicial system and receive proper treatment and assistance. Among these experiences are training police forces to properly intervene with this group of disadvantaged people. Considering this and the experience of the partnership, it was identified the need to provide specialized training, both to people with mental illness and law enforcement officers, on how to relate mutually and creating cooperation practices.





Aims of the Project TRUST

Sustained in the principles of inclusion and tolerance, we expect to: 

1) improve life quality of people with mental illness by assuring their assess to community based services that promote their sense of belonging;

2) improve the access of people with mental illness to information, training and education by providing them with tailored training offers that address their needs specifically;

3) promote innovative VET practices in the sector of defence by giving tailored training opportunities to police; 

4) allowing people with mental illness to continue their trajectories on the institutions where they attend vocational and job experiences by preventing them from escalating relations with the judicial system.

In order to achieve this, we will create and provide specific training to:

1) people with mental health issues on the themes of informed consent, mental health law, rights and obligations, when relating to law enforcement and courts, and protection and privacy of personal data;

2) law enforcement authorities, inspired particularly by the EUA experiences, on how to deal with people with mental illness and how to work on the basis of a preventive use of authority.


Products of the Project TRUST

The Products of the Project will be:

O1) Cooperation Practices between Training, Health and Law - Research Survey - updated information on what people with mental illness and law enforcement think about each other and what they feel is important to be in the training programs;

O2) Law, Justice and Health - Training Manual for People with Mental Illness - contents, approaches, materials, experiences from the training of people with mental illness;

O3) Specialized Law Enforcement Training Program on Mental Health -  contents, approaches, materials, experiences from the training of police officers;

O4) Manual on Cooperative Practices on Education, Health, Law and Community Network - identification of cooperative practices and recommendations;


Results and Impact

We expect the project to impact on people with mental illness, law enforcement agents and participating organisations but also on other relevant stakeholders.  

The direct impacts of this project on people with mental illness are the promotion of Life Quality, the acquisition of skills of autonomous citizenship and also progresses in their educational and training skills. It is intended that this process would be central in promoting their sense of belonging, promoting knowledge of the civil institutions they need to relate to and also allow them to perceive positive aspects of their performance and broaden opportunities for social participation.  

The direct impact of the project in the police agents involved is to increase their knowledge in the area of mental health, elevate their sense of security when intervening in this area, developing skills on communicating with people with psychiatric disorder, prepare them to intervene in a crisis situation and promoting attitudes that lead to cooperative practices with social and health institutions working in this. 

In organizational terms, by increasing the qualifications and expertise of the technicians as a consequence of the involvement in the project, by raising awareness on how training and education can impact on life quality of people with mental illness, by involving the institutions in dynamic with law enforcement, the institutions will seek and be able to create a dynamic of innovation and competitiveness in the educational field, to better relate with people with mental illness, allowing all partner institutions to grow and develop activities in this area, as technically and scientific informed, and assist other institutes working in the field.

We will asseverate the integration in the national VET systems of the training programs  that will allow all institutions to replicate the training programs developed and assure its longer-term benefits. All materials will be put available in order for all that wish to improve the life of people with mental illness can use them.


We expect the innovative character and the impact of the project on people´s lives to spread and reproduce throughout Europe.

The Partnership


Centre for Biomedical Law

The Centre for Biomedical Law (CDB) was created by a decision of the Academic Board of the Faculty of Law, at the suggestion of Guilherme de Oliveira, in May 1988. The CDB is a scientific institution devoted to research on the vast field of Health Law. Its activities spread from organizing public debate on Biomedical Law to promoting education in Health system (not only among lawyers but also among doctors, nurses and other agents). Internationally, academic and scientific links are maintained with some European institutions, such as European Association of Health Law. The CDB is a member of several interdisciplinary projects funded by the European Commission and Foundation for Science and Technology in many areas related to Health System.


Fundatia Estuar

Estuar was set up in 1993 and provides social services within the mental health field through its 5 day centres in Bucharest, Cluj, Ploiesti and Giurgiu and 4 supported accommodation places in Bucharest. It also has a home counselling service in Bucharest. Its mission is to offer social options and alternatives to adults with mental health problems in order to reintegrate them in the community. In 2016 the foundation implemented five major projects funded from FRDS and Bucharest Municipality. It is a Mental Health Europe member.


APCC – Cerebral Palsy Association of Coimbra

The  APCC – Cerebral Palsy Association of Coimbra was established in 1975 as a private institution of social solidarity and a non profit making organisation to promote the social inclusion of people at a disadvantage, with a focus on people with disabilities and special needs. The aim of APCC is to create and develop rehabilitation services and promote the integration and development of people in situation of exclusion and complex needs. APCC is accredited in the management of services in the areas of Rehabilitation, Vocational Training and Employment, Youth, Volunteering and Adult Education. APCC develops several programmes of mediation, covering the family, community, teaching, sports and placement in the normal labour market.  The APCC approach and methodology is regarding the quality of life in the whole life cycle perspective according to the perspective of World Health Organisation - WHOQOL.


SPORA Sinergies

Spora Sinergies is a consultancy firm specialized in the development and improvement of projects, programs and social policies. Spora has as an overall objective improving the quality of life of people through the creation, dissemination and implementation of a rigorous and quality knowledge of social reality.  Spora main areas of intervention are Mental Health, Drugs and Addictions, Public Health, Stigma, Gender, Urbanism, Work and Sustainability. Spora have experience in designing anti-stigma campaigns, research about therapeutic processes, social inclusion in mental health and training people with mental health problems.


Maastricht University

CAPHRI provides high quality multidisciplinary research and teaching aimed at the improvement of the individual's quality of life and the population's health through innovation in public health and health care. Research and teaching in the School are devoted to contribute to improvements in the area of public health and primary care. CAPHRI focuses on interventions in the chain of care, starting with prevention and primary care, and ending with aftercare and rehabilitation.