RENEW in Denmark

February 15, 2015

RENEW team in Denmark

In December 2014 Institute on Disability (IOD) staff members Dr. JoAnne Malloy and Jonathon Drake travelled to Denmark to train 25 Danish Mental Health and Vocational Education Practitioners to implement the Rehabilitation for Empowerment, Natural Supports, Education, and Work (RENEW) program in their practice.

“The trip to Denmark was a wonderful opportunity to introduce the RENEW process to a new audience,” explains JoAnne Malloy, project director of the IOD’s RENEW program. “As in the U.S., RENEW represents a major shift in services in Denmark away from a medical mental health model to a rehabilitation and empowerment model.”

Dr. Malloy and the RENEW team began working with Dr. Sidse Arnfred in Denmark in 2009 to implement the RENEW program in a Danish mental health center. She quickly learned, however, that such a major shift in approach and implementation could not be sustained without high quality training and coaching, so she sought funds to bring the UNH IOD staff to Denmark.

Over the course of two days in December 2014, the IOD RENEW facilitators trained their counterparts in person-centered planning, team development and meeting facilitation, and vocational supports. Those trained in RENEW will use their training to serve 120 youth between the ages of 18-26 in 2015.

The Danish Mental Health System has also hired a coordinator-researcher to evaluate implementation and outcomes of the RENEW project both on the youth served as well as the service providers. The IOD will provide follow-up training and consultation to the project staff in Demark in the coming year to help ensure their success.

RENEW is a structured school-to-career transition planning and individualized wraparound process for youth with emotional and behavioral challenges. Developed in 1996 by staff at the IOD, RENEW is being provided to youth by schools, community mental health centers, and community-based providers and is being replicated in six states. The model focuses on supporting youth to design and pursue plans for the transition from school to adult life. RENEW has substantially increased high school completion, employment, and post-secondary education participation rates among our most vulnerable youth. For more information, visit the RENEW website.