European Union Supports Inclusive Psycho-social Support for LGBTI Persons in Zenica – Doboj Canton

As part of the project “Regionalising LGBTI inclusive psychosocial support and access to mental health services in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, funded by the European Union, two one-day training sessions on LGBTI inclusive psychosocial support and mental health services will be held in Zenica on June 10 and 11, organized by Sarajevo Open Centre. Trainings will be organized for employees of the mental health centres and centres for social work from Zenica – Doboj canton. During the year it is planned to hold similar trainings in Banja Luka and Tuzla, and two training sessions had already taken place in Mostar.

The training session will be led by Darko Pandurević, lawyer, programme coordinator at Sarajevo Open Centre, who will discuss LGBTI identities and the basics of human rights of this category of population, as well as Zvjezdana Jakić, psychologist/Gestalt psychotherapist, and Marija Šarić, psychologist/Gestalt psychotherapist and director of the Wings of Hope Foundation, whose focus will be on LGBTI persons’ problems and needs, with guidelines for inclusive psychosocial support.

Since the protection of mental health and general social well-being of LGBTI persons is often surrounded by stigma and prejudice, it is necessary to raise awareness of professionals working in the fields of social protection and mental health, but also the general public about the importance of maintaining well-being and mental health care of this part of the population.

The goal of the project “Regionalising LGBTI inclusive psychosocial support and access to mental health services in Bosnia and Herzegovina” is to create an environment in which LGBTI persons will be encouraged and supported in accessing social protection and mental health systems that provide inclusive and sensitized services. In order to provide LGBTI persons with access to such support, it is necessary to raise the capacity of social protection and mental health institutions and to expand the institutional network of psychosocial support. It is necessary to strengthen the capacities of civil society organizations dealing with the provision of this type of service, and to train their staff on LGBTI topics.

The project is implemented by Sarajevo Open Centre, and the project partner is the Wings of Hope Foundation from Sarajevo, which through its mental health program seeks to improve social inclusion and strengthen women, children, youth and other vulnerable groups, promoting and protecting human rights, mental health and support in education.

Employees of the mental health centres and centres for social work from Zenica – Doboj canton can confirm participation in the training by e-mail: [email protected], no later than June 4, 2021. The number of participants is limited.

Note: In accordance with the epidemiological situation, all distance measures and disinfection protection measures will be complied with!