Trainings for the Empowerment of LGBTI Persons for Mental Health Care Rounded-up in Igman and Bijeljina

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, in the previous period two trainings were held, organised by Sarajevo Open Centre, the topic being the importance of mental health care of LGBTI persons and the provision of LGBTI inclusive psychosocial support and mental health services. The trainings were held in September (21 and 22) and October (12 and 13) in Igman and Bijeljina, that are rounding-up the cycle of six training held in 2022.

Since the protection of mental health and general social well-being of LGBTI people is often surrounded by stigma and prejudice, these activities aimed at raising awareness of LGBTI persons themselves on the importance of maintaining well-being and mental health care and access to services in mental health and social protection systems.

The trainings were led by Amil Brković and Matej Vrebac from Sarajevo Open Centre who talked about LGBTIQ+ identities, queer and feminist theory and movements, BiH queer history and basics of LGBTI human rights in BiH, and psychologists and psychotherapists from Sarajevo and Bijeljina, Diana Riđić, Haris Šabanović, Angela Gavrić and Borjana Gavrić who spoke about mental health.

Topics covered through workshops and exercises were: emotional needs of the LGBTIQ+ community (emotional literacy); the most common issues and possibilities of dealing with problems in the domain of mental health; identification of personal boundaries, limiting beliefs, patterns and challenges; values; preparation for personal changes and increasing self-awareness in recognizing individual strengths.

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 people will be encouraged and supported in accessing social protection and mental health systems that provide inclusive and sensitized services. 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.

A significant part of the LGBTIQ+ community has undergone training and received tools for seeking sensitized and inclusive psychosocial support both in public care institutions and in the organizations we cooperate with. We hope that these services will become sustainable and accessible to LGBTIQ+ persons according to their needs.

For more information about the project, please contact:

Delila Hasanbegović Vukas, Programme Coordinator at Sarajevo Open Centre

Phone: 033 551 000

E-mail: [email protected]