Maltese Association of Psychiatric Nurses (MAPN)

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Speaker Bio (2) – Interventions in Mental Health 8th/9th November

Dr Paulann Grech – B.Sc.(Hons)(Nurs.),M.Sc.(Psych.)(Cardiff),M.Sc.(Hlth.Sci.),Ph.D.(Sheff.)

During the past years, Dr.Grech has been working first as a practitioner within the state mental health services in Malta and then as a mental health lecturer with the University of Malta. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing followed by an M.Sc. She finished her PhD studies at the University of Sheffield in 2014 and completed a Masters programme in Psychiatry with Cardiff University. She teaches within programmes of studies leading to a degree and master’s in Mental Health and also supervises the dissertation process of undergraduate and postgraduate students. During the past years, she has been responsible for the co-ordination of mental health placements as well as the formation and maintenance of a number of international student/staff exchanges and research agreements. In 2015, she was one of the three mental health professionals who set up the Hearing Voices Network in Malta which is now an established NGO. Her areas of interest are related to critical psychiatry, service user involvement and complementary/alternative approaches to understanding and managing mental distress.Paulann pic

Title: This is our voice: an overview of the Hearing Voices Approach

This aim of this presentation is to explore the Hearing Voices Approach which is promoted by an international movement. The first Hearing Voices Network was founded in the Netherlands in 1987 by the Dutch psychiatrist Marius Romme, the science journalist, Sandra Escher and voice hearer, Patsy Hage. Since then, it has been established in more than 30 locations.

The international Hearing Voices Movement consists of the diverse groups that share some core values. These include: hearing voices, seeing visions and related phenomena, the most common being hearing voices. In this context, these experiences are viewed as meaningful and as having the potential to be understood in many ways. This helps to address the stigma and fear that is often related to hearing voices and similar experiences.

Coping with voices can cause great distress and individuals are often overwhelmed by their experiences.  The Hearing Voices Approach contests that the support offered should be based on respect, empathy, informed choice and an understanding of the personal meaning voices have in someone’s life.

This approach offers support through a number of ways. Primarily, information about ways of coping with voices is shared electronically, during activities and on a one-to-one basis. Importantly, this information is derived from and shared amongst voice hearers themselves who are at the leading front of the Hearing Voices movement. Additionally, Hearing Voices groups are set up in order to bring individuals with similar experiences together so that they are able to share information with each other – this often serves as a strong support method. Although initially these groups may be run by non-voice hearers, it is advisable to eventually empower the group members to facilitate the groups themselves.

During the past three years, a Hearing Voices Network has been established in Malta. The goal is to offer and promote self-help support for people who hear voices or have other unusual experiences, commonly described as a symptom of psychosis. An additional focus of the network is to raise awareness and provide education to health care professionals in relation to supporting individuals to cope with voices and similar experiences.

During the presentation, compassionate methods and tools that can be used in supporting those who experience voices and other unusual experiences shall be discussed. The ‘Maastricht Interview’ and the ’Voice-Dialogue Technique’ feature amongst these tools.  Although the Hearing Voices Approach is not intended to replace traditional methods of addressing voice hearing, it often serves as a useful adjunct in facilitating recovery. Thus its inclusion in the professional’s toolkit is important in order to enhance the quality of care on offer.

Speaker Bio – Interventions in Mental Health 8th/9th November

Rose Warne : RMN, BSc, PGCE, MSc

Rose Warne is a Consultant Nurse for mental health in-patient services working in Berkshire Mental Health Care Trust in the UK. Rose first qualified as a registered mental health nurse in 1983 and has a broad range of experience from in-patient, community, crisis care and liaison psychiatry. Rose has a masters in Higher Professional Education and has worked as a lecturer at Oxford Brookes University and teaches both under and post graduate level mental health.

Rose has a BSc in psycho-social interventions (PSI) for people with psychosis and has developed her skills and practice particularly around the support of carers and families and service user involvement. She is currently involved in a pilot project introducing peer mentor groups onto inpatient wards.  Rose has specialised in the assessment and management of risk and has developed resources to help staff wProfile pic - RWith the safety planning process both in liaison psychiatry and more recently on in-patient wards. She has a particular interest in self harm and working with staff in caring compassionately for service users with the diagnosis of emotionally unstable personality disorder.

She has contributed to chapters in the Oxford Textbook of In-patient Care the main one being on the therapeutic use of nursing observations.

Rose Warne will be delivering a presentation on Psycho-social Interventions (PSI).

Interventions in Mental Health – 8th & 9th November 2018

The Maltese Association of Psychiatric Nurses (MAPN) is organising the annual conference entitled ‘Interventions in Mental Health’.

This 2-day conference, will address evidence based interventions, which are part of the repertoire of tools used by Mental Health professionals in their daily practice.

The sessions will be delivered by local and foreign professionals who work in the field and have experience and expertise in the particular topic they will be presenting. This will be an interesting opportunity and a conference not to be missed if you would like to develop and enhance your knowledge and experience on these interventions in Mental Health.

The event will be held at the historic Razett l-Antik in Qormi.

For further details contact the MAPN on or call directly on 99825731.

In the below links you can find the provisional programme and Registartion Form.


Provisional Programme

Registration Form

Poster Interv

End of year Message

Dear colleague,

2017 was quite remarkable and eventful for the Maltese Association of Psychiatric Nurses and I do feel a sense of satisfaction when thinking about the right words to give my farewell.

2017 will be remembered as a crucial year in the history of the psychiatric nursing profession in Malta, as in April 2017, the MAPN published and launched a very important document for Maltese Psychiatric Nurses, the Standards. The standards give a sense of pride not only to the association but also to every nurse who works in mental health. They represent a collective effort in their compilation and publishing, and give a snapshot of the role, and also guidance and direction for nurses who work and have interest in mental health. 2018

Following that, the MAPN held and organized the most attended festival of psychiatric nursing in Europe. This was the third time that the Horatio Festival was held in Malta, and all those who attended can vouch that it was another success. This year we have seen a number of renowned and distinguished international speakers including Jon Allen, Profs. Michel Probst, Dr Levin Hofgaard and the familiar and Maltese loving Profs. Shirley Smoyak.

The MAPN also participated in the conference organized by the People and Standards Division and the Employee Support programme and collaborated with the Practice Development Unit in the deliverance of training and seminars with a mental health theme and the #stopstigma campaign launched by the Department of Mental Health at the University of Malta.

This year was also marked by certain issues in the MHS which as MAPN, we felt we should give our input. This is not always a straightforward situation. As MAPN we are committed in empowering, promoting and safeguarding the psychiatric nursing profession but at the same time we cannot act as a trade union. It is in these circumstances that our affiliation with the MUMN comes in. There were times when we notified the MUMN about certain concerns and at other times we made contact with the management directly, with the best interest of our profession at heart.

Next year does not seem to be any easier. We have planned to do a series of sessions about the Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Standards, where we will be involving you, as MAPN members in the running of these sessions. Also, we are planning to organize a seminar about nursing interventions in mental health, later on in the year. We will continue to collaborate with the Practice Development Unit in in-house training delivery and continue to meet with the management and other stakeholders to promote and empower the work of the psychiatric mental health nurse.

I would like to conclude by thanking you as MAPN member for your input in the association, and also for the work which you do. Remember that every time you step into your place of work, you will be wearing the role of the PMHN. Be proud of what you do, but also responsible for your actions. Keep in mind that you are making a difference, in someone’s life.

Finally, I would like to give a big hug to my fellow council, whom without them, we would have not achieved all we did during this year, namely, Alexei Sammut (Vice President), Mark Vassallo (Secretary), Roberto Galea (Treasurer), Bernice Gauci (Vice Secretary), Sarah Ebejer (PRO), Julie Stevenson (International Advisor), Maria Sapiano, Kevin Gafa and Damian Gouder (General Committee Members). We truly make a great team!

On behalf of all the MAPN council, I wish you and your loved ones a lovely Christmas, and a prosperous 2018.

Pierre Galea
MAPN – President

Finalised Programme – 4th HORATIO European Festival of Psychiatric Nursing

We are pleased to announce that the finalised programme of the 4th HORATIO European Festival of Psychiatric Nursing (Thursday 11th – Sunday 14th May 2017) is available for download

Download – Finalised Programme 4th HORATIO Festival 2017front Page Programme

Maltese Delegates can register for the HORATIO Festival by clicking here to download registration form

Further info please e-mail:

(Please note that programme is subject to last minute changes).

Activities related to the 4th HORATIO European Festival of Psychiatric Nursing

The 4th Horatio European Festival of Psychiatric Nursing is not only a scientific event with over 100 papers to be presented during the 4 day event. The festival offers a full array of cultural and fun activities including:

Art exhibition  – Four artists will be displaying their work throughout the 4 day event. Exhibits include paintings, photographs and statutes.

Free Music Night – On Friday 12th May a free music night with Gianni’s Band – RUG will entertain the delegates at Fat Harry’s Pub (Bugibba) for a night which will surely be remembered.

Silent Auction –   As in the past the Festival will have a silent auction. For those of you not familiar with this concept it works like this:-

  • Delegates donate items of interest (these can be books, clothing, photographs, art works, memorabilia etc.) which they hand to Festival organisers at registration
  • The items are all placed in a room and on display throughout the whole of the event
  • In front of each item there will be a bidding form
  • To bid for an item, delegates write their name and the amount they wish to bid on the form
  • On Sunday 14th May, the final and highest bid, will be the person who wins the item
  • All proceeds from the silent auction will go to a charity organisation of MAPNs’ choice

So, bring something along to the event, small or large it doesn’t matter! In the past we have had everything from expensive pens, psychiatric nursing textbooks, jewellery and organisational branded items.

If you require further information about any of the mentioned events please contact the organising team of the Festival on or

Gianni PosterPoster Art Exhibition Horatio


MAPN Annual General Meeting

On the occasion of the launching of the Standards for Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses (see below post), paying members of the MAPN are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting (AGM) which will be held at tAGM Picturehe Training Centre of Mount Carmel Hospital on Wednesday 12th April 2017 at 1.30pm soon after the official launching of the Standards.
As per statute, during the AGM, paying members can propose amendments in the statute and topics/issues to be included in the AGM agenda:
“New proposals are to be sent to the secretary 1 week before the Annual General Conference duly proposed and seconded” (Section 12. Page 5).
MAPN members are encouraged to participate in the AGM as very important issues regarding future projects will be discussed. Those attending are encouraged to inform the council by sending an e-mail on by not later than Friday 10th April 2017.

Launching of the Maltese Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Standards

The Maltese Association of Psychiatric Nurses (MAPN) has always been committed in the advancement of the nursing profession in mental health in Malta.  Since its inception 10 years ago, it set to improvestandards document pic and recognize the roles and standards of psychiatric mental health nurses and aimed to empower, educate and strengthen the role of the nurse in mental health.
In this regard, the association worked hard in compiling a document which presents and describes, in a tangible, clear-cut and candid way, what the roles and standards of psychiatric mental health nurses in Malta are, whilst offering a depiction of how the roles and standards of psychiatric mental health nurses in the 21th century should be.
This document will appeal to any nurse, with any qualification or position, who is working or is interested in mental health, and is committed in providing optimum nursing care to people suffering from mental illness or mental health problems.
To celebrate the launching of this document, we would like to invite you to the official launch, which will happen  on Wednesday 12th April 2017, 12pm at Mount Carmel Hospital Training Center.
A small reception will be held after the launching of the standards. We would greatly appreciate if you RSVP by not later than Monday 10th April by sending an e-mail on


7th Key Note Speaker Announced – 4th Horatio European Festival of Psychiatric Nursing “Working in Partnership” – Malta – 11th – 14th May, 2017

The organisational committee of the HORATIO Festival is pleased to announce the final key note speaker, Ms. Dolores Gauci from Malta.

Dolores Gauci is currently working at the Ministry for Education and Employment leading the Education for All Team responsible for helping schools develop processes that lead to high quality education for all. She Dolores Gauci Pichas been instrumental in the development of a number of policies falling under the Respect for All Framework, which Framework is value based and aimed at helping improve the quality of education for all learners. Inclusion of all is at the heart of the Education for All development process.    She is a Trustee of Richmond Foundation and she is on the Executive Committee of GAMIAN-Europe.  Ms Gauci is a visiting lecturer at the​ Faculty for​Social Wellbeing, University of Malta.​

Ms Gauci holds an M.Sc in Health Services Management and is a Social Worker by profession having specialised in mental health.  She was a founder member and the first Chairperson of the Maltese Association of Social Workers.

After working within the State Mental Health Services for a number of years were she was pivotal in the setting up of a number of services related to rehabilitation primarily mental health as well as substance abuse,  she moved on to develop Richmond Foundation, as its Chief Executive Officer, into the leading Maltese Non-Governmental Organisation, providing community mental health services for adults and children spanning from Rehabilitation to supported employment, to supportive housing to home support services. In 2013 Ms Gauci was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the National Mental Health Services.  Ms Gauci sat on a number of Commissions and Boards related to Social Work, Mental Health and Education.   On the European arena, Ms Gauci was on the Board of the Global Alliance for Mental Illness Advocacy Networks – Europe, a patient organisation, since 2000.  She was its President for 6 years.  During that time she was instrumental in facilitating the setting up of the Interest Group for Mental Health within the European Parliament, where she has presented on a number of occasions and where she has facilitated panel discussions.  During her presidency Ms Gauci was also the Secretary General of the European Brain Council, co-chaired the Expert Platform on Mental Health focus on Depression and was a Board member of the Lundbeck Institute.  Ms Gauci presented at a numerous con​f​erences and meetings both nationally and internationally.

Ms Gauci has been and continues to be a strong advocate in the field of mental health.

For information about international & local registration and provisional programme send us an e-mail on