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International conference on mental health held in Belgrade

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An international conference titled “Toward a New Mental Health Policy and Human Rights Based Treatment” was held on June 8 and 9, 2018 in Belgrade, in the Zira hotel. The conference was organized by IAN International Aid Network and the Department of Mental Health from Trieste, within the framework of the EQUAL projects – funded by the Region of Venice, Venezia Giulia Italy and the Council of Europe, within the project “Enhancing Human Rights Protection for Detained and Sentenced Persons in Serbia”, which is part of the joint program of the European Union and the Council of Europe “Horizontal Facility” for the Western Balkans and Turkey.
The aim of the meeting was to exchange views and attitudes related to the new strategy for the development of mental health services in the community and other forms of treatment that would promote human rights and involve users of psychiatric services in the lives of local communities. The focus of the conference was on legal solutions as well as a new strategic approach to this problem.
The findings of the Council of Europe experts on issues of the protection of rights in the law, analysis of the previous strategy for the protection of mental health, as well as experiences from the most developed European services were discussed. We also had the opportunity to hear the results of the latest WHO study on the quality of mental health services carried out in 25 European countries. The participants heard about the work and ideas about deinsitutionalization from large psychiatric hospitals and experiences from the same field achieved in social care institutions.
The conference was attended by experts from the Department of Mental Health from Trieste, the Collaborative Center of the World Health Organization, and one of the first and leading centers for the protection of mental health in the community in Europe.
In addition to the legal solutions and discussion of strategic issues of mental health reform, the experiences from the EQUAL project, within which this conference was held, were presented. Our associates from Sombor, Novi Kneževac, Kotor and Belgrade spoke about their results in the development of community services.

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