mental health

”Social Trauma and Forced Migration”

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We are pleased to present you with an international strategic document, in which we have had the honor to participate. The document refers to the topic of social trauma and forced migration, and it provides recommendations for good practice in the field of integration, education and mental health. The document was created at the International Psychoanalytical University of Berlin (IPU Berlin), within the network “Migration-Trauma in Transition”, that is supported by DAAD.

You can read and download the document here.

“Mental Health of Refugees and Migrants”

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On Thursday 18 April at the Media Centre, Belgrade a public presentation was organised of the results of a research on Mental Health of Refugees and Migrants. The research was conducted by the Red Cross of Serbia in partnership with Psychosocial Innovation Network (PIN) with financial support provided by International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Norwegian Red Cross.

Speakers at the press conference included Ljubomir Miladinovic, Secretary General of the Red Cross of Serbia, Alvaro Carmona Corrales (IFRC), Jovana Bjekic, PhD psychologist (PIN) and Natasa Todorovic, psychologist, Red Cross of Serbia.

Mental health issues and disorders are one of the leading public health problems worldwide and refugees and migrants are an especially vulnerable group in this regard.

Red Cross of Serbia Secretary General spoke about many years of experience that the National Society has in providing psychosocial support services and that this kind of support is important for building resilience of individuals, families and communities. As part of the activities and programmes targeting refugees and migrants the Red Cross of Serbia conducted initial assessment of mental health in order to identify those beneficiaries who need additional support, as well as to adapt the programmes to population indicators on psychological vulnerability of beneficiaries at different locations across Serbia.

The Federation representative, Alvaro Carmona Corrales talked about the significance of the Red Cross work in this field.

Jovana Bjekic of PIN presented the data collected in the period between December 2018 and February 2019 using the sample of more than 200 beneficiaries and the data shows that 72.5% of refugees and migrants is psychologically vulnerable with the most frequent issues being the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (14.2%), depression (28.6%) and anxiety (18.9%) with 48% displaying signs of acute anxiety and other psychological issues.

Natasa Todorovic, the Red Cross of Serbia expert, presented the recommendations for improving mental health of refugees and migrants and the ways the Red Cross can use its global network for advocacy. In order to make advocacy successful it is necessary to regularly collect data on mental health and well-being of refugees and migrants, as well as to include them in implementation and designing psychosocial activities.


Source: Red Cross Serbia

“Mental Health and Psychological Well-being

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PIN, with the support of UNHCR Serbia, organised a panel discussion about mental health and psychological well-being of refugees.

On this occasion, we discussed refugees’ mental health and the importance of ensuring unique standards in the provision of services and coordination mechanisms. Also, we presented PIN’s research results and discussed the two-way relation between mental health care and successful integration of refugees, as well as the importance of multisector collaboration for the improvement of refugees’ mental health.

Speakers at the panel were:
– Dr Periša Simonović, Assistant Director for Health Care Organization, The Institute of Public Health of Serbia “Dr Milan Jovanović Batut“,
– Ivan Živanov, Migration Health Coordinator, WHO,
– Hans Friedrich Schodder, UNHCR Representative in Serbia,
– Milenko Nikić, Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs,
– Danijela Nedić, Commissariat for Refugees of the Republic of Serbia,
– Tamara Berberović, International Organization for Migration,
– Nikola Kovačević, Belgrade Centre for Human Rights,
– Dr Jovana Bjekić, PIN and Institute for Medical Research,
– Dr Maša Vukčević Marković, PIN’s director.

This event, together with publication on refugees’ mental health is part of the project that PIN implements with the support of UNHCR Serbia. You can read and download publication from this year here.

We wish to thank our colleagues that attended the event in such a great number!