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Mental health care for people of concern

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Overall objective of the project is to improve mental health and overall well-being of persons of concern (PoCs) in Serbia

Specific objectives of the project are:

–              Specialized psychotherapy and/or psychiatric treatment provided to highly traumatized persons, including torture victims.

–              A group of PoCs trained in community-based protection activities, including peer counselling and conducting self-support groups.

Activities implemented:

  1. Provision of specialized psychotherapy to highly traumatized persons – Psychotherapy sessions will be provided to clients referred to IAN by organisations/institutions that are in every day contact with PoCs in the field. There are clients with severe mental health conditions who are in need of specialized psychotherapy and for them psychosocial support provided in the field is not adequate and/or sufficient type of assistance. Psychotherapy sessions will be held in IAN premises in Belgrade or if more appropriate, IAN’s psychotherapist will visit client in reception centre or centre for asylum where he/she is settled. Dynamics of the sessions will be determined for each client individually, in accordance with their needs and liabilities. Psychotherapy sessions will be available for PoCs in Belgrade, Vojvodina and Bosilegrad.
  2. Psychiatric checkups and treatment for PoCs in need – Some of the clients with severe mental health conditions are in need not only of psychotherapy, but also of psychiatric treatment, including medication. Only psychiatrist is allowed to prescribe medicines for certain psychiatric conditions. Moreover, psychiatric reports are proved to be important document for resettlement and asylum applications. Psychiatric assistance will be available for all PoCs in Serbia.
  3. Training on community-based protection activities for PoCs – Community-based protection and mental health are closely linked. PoCs have assets and resources to support their own mental health and psychosocial well-being and that of their communities. With tailored training and supportive supervision, many psychosocial interventions can be done by PoCs themselves. In that way wider range of people is reached which can contribute to ensuring that clinical mental health services are accessed by those who need it. 5 days training will be delivered to a group of interested PoCs who will be selected based on the interview with experienced psychologists in order to assess person’s motivation and capacities and recommendations by professionals and organizations working on the field. Participants will be trained in provision of peer counselling and conducting self-support groups, but also sensitized to recognize trauma and torture survivors. Follow up supervision by experienced IAN staff will be available to all training participants.

UNHCR Serbia

Project duration: 1st January 2018 – 31th December 2019

Contact person: Biljana Petrović bpetrovic@ian.org.rs


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