Lecture called “The Guidance for Protection and Improvement of The Mental Health of Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants in Serbia”

Lecture called “The Guidance for Protection and Improvement of The Mental Health of Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants in Serbia” was being held on friday, 22nd of November 2019. at 9am in the blue hall of the Institute of mental health.

Due do it’s unique geopolitical role, Serbia has found itself in the center of the migrant crisis which has been happening in Europe in the last few years. According to the most recent research data, there are currently over 4000 refugees, asylum seekeers and migrants in Serbia, living in 16  official accommodation facilities. Data suggest that the migrant population is in significant risk of developing mental health problems, due to a large number of experienced traumatic events. Mental health disorders are among the four most commong causes of all health disorders. Those are the reasons why it was necessary to formulate an official strategy for providing help to the migrants and be accomodated to the needs of this vulnerable populations, and thus The Guidance for Protection and Improvement of The Mental Health of Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants in Serbia was created. The guidance was developed at the initiative of the World Health Organisation (WHO), and its editor was Ivan Živanov, Migration Health Coordinator, WHO.

Lecturers were the authors of the guidance: Maša Vukčević Marković, Psychosocial Innovation Network director and lecturer on Department of Psychology, University of Belgrade; Dr Periša Simonović, Assistant Director for Health Care Organization, Institute of Public Health of Serbia and Dr Bojana Pejušković, Head of Education Unit, Institute of Mental Health, Belgrade, Serbia and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia. Apart from them, there was one more author of the guidance: Snežana Svetozarević, Assistant Professor of Department of Psychology, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia.

Lecturers emphasized the necessity of creating such guidance, and presented the goal of the guidance, which is to develop systemic recommendations on: measures and activities that can be implemented; the resources needed for including beneficiaries in the planned procedures and for deciding who is to be included, in what manner and to what extent; the resources needed for including beneficiaries in the planned procedures and for deciding who is to be included, in what manner and to what extent. In the end the lecturers were answering the questions of the auditorium concerning the guidance itself, as well as the its application the practical situations.