On Sept. 11- 12, 30 leaders from around the world will be visiting the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) to understand the developments in Philadelphia to build the mental health literacy and services.

There will be other cities participating in this learning exchange that include New York City; Pittsburgh; Christchurch, New Zealand; London and the West Midlands region in England; Stockholm; Dublin; and Toronto and Vancouver, Canada. There will also be additional leaders from Australia, England, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

This event has been organized by the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL), which is an international collaborative that is sponsored by eight countries: Australia, Canada, England, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, Sweden, and the United States. It was formed in 2003 and currently has 4000 leaders who have joined IIMHL. Joining IIMHL is free, and you can learn more about IIMHL by visiting their website at www.iimhl.com.

IIMHL visited DBHIDS last year, bringing 18 international visitors to see how we serve the Philadelphia community.

Philadelphia is viewed internationally as an example of how to plan and organize supports in a city urban landscape that uses innovation and creative ideas to transform behavioral health services traditionally seen in office settings out into the public and community via a population health approach, while still providing care to those in most need.

Our meetings in Philadelphia and New York City on Sept. 13 and 14 are designed to build a collaborative and supportive learning system within the U.S. and overseas to rapidly share and implement the newest effective practices in city and urban areas.

If you see any of our international visitors, be sure to say hello, and know that the partnership with IIMHL will provide opportunities for building alliances around the globe.