Nina Kilkku

Principal Lecturer, psychotherapist, PhD, FFNMRCSI

What is happening in mental health nursing from the European viewpoint?

Horatio is a roof organisation for more than 20 mental health/psychiatric nursing associations and organisations in different European countries and actively involved in different co-operation activities with other international and European organisations on mental health. Nina and Aisling will together present some these developments as well as the current trends of mental health nursing from the European perspective. Some thoughts about the future of mental health nursing will be also discussed -especially now when year 2020 will be the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife!

About Nina

Nina works as a Principal lecturer in Tampere University of Applied Sciences, with the focus area on Mental Health and Subtance Abuse Nursing. Besides her daily work she has a private practice as a Family and Couple Psychotherapist.  Nina is a Fellow Ad Eundem in Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery in Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland. In Horatio she has been a board member since 2012, a Secretary General 2014-2015 and now President since 2018.





Aisling Culhane

Research & Development Advisor, RPN,MSc Health Ethics & Law

About Aisling

Aisling is working as a Research and Development Advisor in the Psychiatric Nurses Association in Ireland. She is a Fellow by examination and Honorary Teaching Associate in Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery in Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Aisling has been supporting the European Psychiatric Nurses, Horatio, since the organization has started and she became a board member 2014. Currently she is the Secretary General of Horatio.



Tomas Petr


Mental health service in Czech Republic and its reform -Process of deinstitutionalization

In the first part of the presentation I will describe mental health care system in Czech Republic, its weaknesses and strengths. I will provide data about mental health condition of Czech population and main challenges for the future. Information about mental health nurses, their education and competencies will be provided as well.

In second part I will focus on description of the ongoing process of psychiatric reform in the Czech Republic. Big reform of psychiatric care has started in 2013 when Ministry of health signed a Strategy of reform of psychiatric care. The reform aims to contribute to change the mental health care system from institutional model to community model. We face many challenges and obstacles during the process of changing old and rigid system. I will share some of our experience with you and I will highlight the role of the psychiatric nurses in the process of deinstitutionalization.

About Tomas

Tomas is a mental health nurse with 20 years of experience from various psychiatric and social services. He works currently as a head nurse of acute psychiatric department of Military University Hospital in Prague and also as a chief of Community Mental Health Center. Tomas is a chairman of the Psychiatric Section of Czech National Nurses Association and also a board member of Horatio – European Psychiatric Nurses Association. He is a member of Executive and Experts committee of Ministry of Health for implementation of psychiatric reform in Czech Republic. He has got wide publication and lecturing activity on the topic of mental health nursing.


Birgit Andersen


Working as a mental health nurse in remote areas

When you work as a Mental Health Nurse in remote areas – what does it take and what are the tasks facing each nurse? How is the work organized and what does it mean for the individuals living in remote area? What about ethical issues when living and working there, when being a part of a small community?

About Birgit

Birgit is currently working as a Manager in Outpatient and District/Community Mental Health Nursing in the Faroe Islands. She is active member of National Mental Health Nursing Association in the Faroe Islands and also a member of the board in the Nordic Association of Mental Health Nursing. Birgit is a treasurer of Horatio, the European Psychiatric Nurses, and an active member of the board.


Susanna Flansburg

M.A. Community Mental Health, B.A. Mental Health/Psychiatric Nursing

Working as a mental health nurse in psychiatric hospital in Germany

The working and training conditions of a German nurse differ in many respects from international standards. In many European nursing and hospital statistics, Germany ranks at the lowest level. In 2020, a reform of the Nursing Care Act will take place, which will be accompanied by an increasing academisation of nursing care, but the psychiatric and mental health content of the training will be further reduced. The lecture should point out the historical causes for the German special path and provide information about the current and future tasks of nursing using the example of a psychiatric nurse in inpatient gerontological psychiatry.

About Susanna

Susanna has an education as an M.A. in Community Mental Health and B.A. in Mental Health/Psychiatric Nursing. She is a member of the extended Board of the German Association of Psychiatric Nursing DFPP and member of the board in European Psychiatric Nurses, Horatio. Currently she works as a Ward Manager in Gerontological psychiatry, LWL Psychiatric Hospital Gütersloh, Germany. Susanna is the heart and soul of the Horatio’s next Congress in Berlin, May 2020: www.horatioberlin2020.com


Gisli Kort Kristofersson


What is in your toolbox? Brief psychotherapeutic, evidence-based interventions for mental health nurses

Gisli is planning on discussing various brief evidence based interventions and approaches for nurses working in the psychiatric setting.

About Gisli

Gisli worked as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Psychiatry in community mental health from 2008 to 2012 in an underserved neighborhood in Minneapolis, MN, and in private practice from 2012 to 2014 in Minneapolis, MN. Upon his return to Iceland in August 2014 Gisli has practiced as a PMHCNS both in a hospital and private practice setting. Besides his faculty positions, Associate Professor and Head of Faculty of Nursing, at the University of Akureyri, Gisli currently holds adjunct faculty positions at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, and University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality and Healing as well as in the faculty of nursing at the University of Iceland. And of course; Gisli is also a member of the board in the European Psychiatric Nurses, Horatio.


Alexei Sammut

Ph.D., SN., RMN

Art and mental health nursing

Mental Health and the Arts are often linked as therapeutic interventions. Such interventions include drama therapy, music therapy and also art therapy. Art therapists use the visual arts to help individuals understand their problems and ultimately cope with the challenges such conditions may pose. The presentation will focus on the use of various artistic medium and how they can be used as an intervention to support clients with a mental health condition. Also aspects of arts will be discussed as a platform for mental health awareness campaigns.

Website: http://www.mentalhealth-art.com and https://www.um.edu.mt/profile/alexeisammut

About Alexei

Alexei is a great fan of Finland and he has been participating our previous international intensive weeks, around ten year’s ago, with a group of Maltese students. This time he comes back to give his presentation on art and mental health nursing. Alexei is currently working in the University of Malta, after his clinical career in mental health nursing in Malta. Alexei is a member of the board in the European Psychiatric Nurses, Horatio.


Henrika Jormfeldt

Professor in Nursing at Halmstad University

Horse-assisted therapy in mental health nursing with children, adolescents and adults

Henrika’s presentation will be about Horse-assisted therapy and rehabilitation in schizophrenia and she will describe experiences from a collaboration project between IFSAP Halmstad, Halmstad University and Bråddarseds Horse for Health & Wellbeing AB. This project was conducted during the fall of 2018 and spring 2019 with funding from Swedish Postal Code Foundation. Besides experiences of working with adults with severe mental disorders, she will describe issues connected with Horse-assisted therapy with children and adolescents.

More information:



About Henrika

Henrika is currently working as a Professor of Nursing in the Halmstad University, Sweden. Her research has been focused on mental health promotion in mental health services, positive aspects of health among patients in mental health services, psychosocial rehabilitation and subjective experiences of psychoeducation of the patients with severe mental health disorder. Henrika is a member of the board in Horatio. The research project ”Horse-assisted therapy and rehabilitation – a longitudinal design” has  started in 2017. During the years 2013-2016 EU funded an international project, eMenthe, which was led by TAMK with several other countries as partners. In the project the aim was to enhance Master’s level mental health with the production of online, open educational materials. Halmstad University was one of the partners in this project, so we warmly welcome Henrika to Tampere again!