Representatives of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of the Republic of Srpska held a meeting today with distinguished professor of psychiatry and former director of the Division for Mental Health of the World Health Organization, and one of the presidents of the World Psychiatric Association, Professor Dr. Norman Sartorius.
This expert in the field of mental health has been described as one of the most important and most influential psychiatrists of his generation who specializes in the area of rights of persons with mental disorders, fighting stigma and prejudice associated with mental disorders, and improving services in the field of mental health.
The reason for organizing this meeting are the activities that the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of the Republic of Srpska and Federal Ministry of Health, are conducting in collaboration with a mental health project in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Phase II, which is supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in the field of anti-stigma programs and increase of social inclusion for people with mental disorders.
These activities have one main goal and that is the development of long-term and sustainable anti-stigma programs that will lead to the reduction of stigma and discrimination, and that will allow people who have mental problems and their families to seek and obtain adequate services, to achieve recovery and to re-integrate into society.
The long term goal is to improve general welfare of people with mental disorders by reducing stigma, increasing the level of social inclusion and improving the quality of life of people with mental disabilities and persons at risk of developing mental disorders.
Due to extensive experience in fighting against stigma and discrimination professor Sartorius gave considerable guidance and advices for the development and promotion of planned activities to the participants of the meeting.
The meeting was attended by representatives of institutions and organizations dealing with mental health in the Republic of Srpska and in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.