International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Stigmatization of persons with mental health conditions a challenge in Bosnia

October 14, 2020

Stigmatization and discrimination of persons with mental health conditions and their families still pose a challenge in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also in the rest of the world, said Director for Cooperation at the Swiss Embassy in Bosnia Barbara Datwyler Scheuer, speaking at a conference marking the World Mental Health Day in Sarajevo on Wednesday.

“This can and must change. This is about human rights. If only we respected their human rights, the mentally challenged persons would live in a dignified way,” said Datwyler Scheuer.

She addressed a conference named 'Mental health, human rights and recovery – the launch of the World Health Organization's Quality Rights platform', held within the World Mental Health Day program.

The platform that was presented in the conference has been designed for the persons with mental disabilities, decision-makers, health and social work professionals, and members of the community, with an aim to develop their knowledge and skills towards the improvement of human rights.

Head of the WHO Office in Sarajevo, Victor Oisavszky, warned that the coronavirus pandemic has worsened the situation regarding the treatment of mentally challenged persons, adding that at least one-third of those who took part in a survey from the second quarter of 2020 felt the effects on their mental health.

“In these circumstances, the cooperation between health authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina and WHO in the field of mental health is successful and it's been continuously lasting for nearly 25 years. Large investments in a strong network of mental healthcare centers across the community has been a vision since the very beginning, while applying a multidisciplinary approach oriented towards the recovery and personalized care,” explained Olsavszky, adding that the online training created within the Quality Rights platform will be available free of charge.

Human Rights Ombudsman, Jasmina Dzumhur, welcomed the activity launched by the WHO, saying that this was important not only because of the education of personnel in the mental healthcare sector but for everyone keeping this topic in the focus.

Source:  http://ba.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a478532/Stigmatisation-of-persons-with-mental-health-conditions-a-challenge-in-Bosnia.html

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