28 October 2022

Photo: Protector of Citizens

On 27 October 2022, the Deputy Protector of Citizens, Nataša Tanjević, PhD, participated in the regional conference entitled "The Civil Sector in the Protection of Mental Health", which was organized in Belgrade by Caritas Serbia, as part of the SOCIETIES regional project financed by the European Union. The conference was attended by a large number of representatives of the civil sector from the region and institutions dealing with mental health, who exchanged experiences and practices related to the development of services for the protection of mental health in the community in their countries and the role of the civil sector in the protection of mental health.

During her presentation on the topic "Protection of mental health is a matter of human rights", Tanjević, PhD, presented the activities of the Protector of Citizens aimed at improving the position of persons with mental disorders, and in particular the findings and recommendations of the National Preventive Mechanism from the report on the visits to psychiatric institutions and social protection homes. As part of the conclusion, she emphasized that it is necessary to develop a network of services for the protection of mental health in the community without delay, which will provide comprehensive mental health protection, with the least possible restrictions and as close as possible to the family, to strengthen the existing specialized services at health institutions in terms of staff, to ensure continuous education of employees in in the field of mental health, increase the number of specialists in child and adolescent psychiatry, develop services for the prevention and treatment of children and young people with addiction diseases, for whom mental health care services must be equally accessible and of high quality, and improve the care and treatment of elderly people with mental disorders.

b_280_0_16777215_00_images_20221104KonfCaritas2.jpgShe also pointed to the need to raise awareness of the importance of mental health and investments in reforms in the field of mental health, multi-sector cooperation, as well as to connect associations, experts and institutions at the local level to promote mental health and fight against stigmatization.

The Protector of Citizens will continue to monitor and support all activities of organizations in the field of mental health that provide assistance to persons with mental disabilities and their families, and in this sense, the implementation of Caritas projects is very important for the social inclusion of persons with mental and intellectual disabilities and the process of deinstitutionalization, said the Deputy Protector of Citizens, Nataša Tanjević, PhD.