Home Projects Services in the Local Community for People with Mental Disabilities “EUROSTART”

Services in the Local Community for People with Mental Disabilities “EUROSTART”

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Short project description:
Due to the lack of adequate community-based services and the lack of appropriate healthcare and social services in the community, lots of people with mental diseases in AP Vojvodina are forced to seek support in other bodies for social assistance, which are far from their towns. Moreover the situation of the existing institutions is insufficient and there are long waiting lists. Financial resources are not enough and the stigmatization of people with mental disturbance doesn’t push local communities into providing the necessary services. Friuli Venezia Giulia is one of the regions with the most innovative mental health services in Europe, as a consequence of the reform and the deinstitutionalization of psychiatric hospitals. Therefore this region collaborates with AP Vojvodina to foster the start of projects for local development and to create and strengthen integrated social-healthcare networks.

Italian partner ASS n.1 has visited Sombor Health Centre, Sombor General Hospital (psychiatric department) and Special Psychiatric Hospital in Vrsac in April 2014. IAN has conducted preparatory activities, organised the visit, and put its staff and resources at a disposal. Field missions have served, apart from sharing information’s, as excellent preparatory activity for study visits to Trieste. Three day trainings of the local staff from Vrsac and Sombor had in approx. 70 participants. Study visit to Trieste was conducted in a June for a total of 12 participants from Vojvodina Province and one IAN support staff. Participants came from two special psychiatric hospitals Novi Knezevac and Vrsac. Special value of the study visit can be found in a fact that both special psychiatric hospitals have received funding from EU Delegation Belgrade to open community based mental health services in June 2014, just two weeks before the visit. Study visit have proved significant in the planning processes of establishing two new services, all expected to become operational before the end of 2014. During the EUROSTART Project we intended to support the deinstitutionalization process in Vojvodina with collection and publication of „standards of care for individuals with mental disorders“, in order to disseminate that knowledge to psychiatric and social institutions within the Province. The publication is designed to cover all relevant local laws and regulations (i.e. laws regulating health care and rights of mentally ill in Republic of Serbia, as well as governmental policies and standards of both Serbia and Province of Vojvodina), and International standards and recommendations (e.g. „Green paper“ and WHO documents), that could serve as a guideline for development of more human approach to psychiatric inpatients as well as a guideline toward transformation of psychiatric hospitals and social asylums.

“Intersectoral collaboration and deinstitutionalization” is the workshop that was organized as the final event of the project in order to help define the plan for deinstitutionalization, which is currently developing in the institutions on the territory of Vojvodina. The workshop was held in July 2014 in Novi Sad. It was attended by all relevant actors: representatives of social welfare and mental health institutions, representatives of local NGOs, international organisations and Open Arms project.

Municipality Friuli Venezia Giulia

Project duration: April 2014 – July 2014

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

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