Employees of the mental health centers and centres for social work in BiH shared experiences in working with LGBTI people

Within the project “Regionalising LGBTI Inclusive Psychosocial Support and Access to Mental Health Services in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, funded by the European Union, on 28 March 2022 in Sarajevo, Sarajevo Open Centre organized the round table on exchange of experiences working with LGBTI persons in mental health and social protection systems. The training was attended by employees of the mental health centres and centres for social work in BiH.

During the round table, the focus was on the exchange of experiences of the participants, and they talked with the psychotherapists of the partner organization Wings of Hope Foundation, programme and advocacy manager and peer counsellor for LGBTI persons in Sarajevo Open Centre. Part of the training was human library, where participants were introduced to LGBTIQ persons from BiH, their problems and challenges.

Sarajevo Open Centre’s project partner is the Wings of Hope Foundation from Sarajevo that works to improve social inclusion and strengthen women, children, youth, and other vulnerable groups through its mental health protection program, by promoting and protecting human rights, mental health, and educational support.

Participants shared their experiences of working with LGBTI persons, as well as stressed the need for continuous education on rights and a sensitized approach to working with the LGBTI community.

The project “Regionalising LGBTI inclusive psychosocial support and access to mental health services in Bosnia and Herzegovina” aims to create an environment in which LGBTI people are encouraged and supported to access social protection and mental health systems that offer inclusive and sensitized services. It is required to increase the capacity of social protection and mental health institutions, as well as to expand the institutional network of psychosocial support, in order to provide LGBTI people with access to such care. It is also vital to strengthen the capacities of civil society organizations that provide this type of service, as well as to train their employees on LGBTI topics.

The round table rounded up a series of trainings held by Sarajevo Open Centre and the Wings of Hope Foundation in 2021 for experts from mental health and social work centres in Mostar (Herzegovina-Neretva Canton), Zenica (Zenica-Doboj Canton), Banja Luka (entity Republika Srpska) and Tuzla (Tuzla Canton). The trainings that follow during 2022 will be focused on LGBTI persons throughout BiH and strengthening their awareness and tools for mental health care.

For more information about the project, please contact Delila Hasanbegović Vukas, Programme Coordinator, Sarajevo Open Centre.

Tel: 033 551 000

E-mail: [email protected]