community mental health services
- Project runs from
Donor: thematic grant, TMF of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
HIV/AIDS is a major problem in the target countries of the project. Average infection rates are low, but are high among particular vulnerable groups - particularly injecting drug users - and threaten to escalate into a full-scale epidemic unless urgent action is taken now. High-quality care and recent innovations in treatment are rarely available to the people most in need. The nature and severity of HIV/AIDS often leads to serious mental health problems for those infected as well as their partners, families and friends. HIV-positive people who are depressed or suffering other psychological problems such as drug and alcohol abuse are less likely to follow treatment/prevention regimes and more likely to behave in risky ways. In addition, some people with mental illness or a learning disability are at greater risk of being infected. This cluster of interacting problems deserves special attention but is mostly neglected worldwide. To counteract the double stigma and lack of local resources, external expertise and funding is needed in the target countries, to help change attitudes and introduce better services and support.
The main objective of the project is to develop mechanisms that improve the quality of life of people with HIV/AIDS, suffering mental health problems, as well, which could be either a consequence of stigma, associated with their physical affliction, or a direct outcome of HIV/AIDS medical treatment, or could exist separately and independently from the latter.
The project is implemented by Global Initiative on Psychiatry-Hilversum, with an active role of GIP-Tbilisi (Georgia, for the Caucasus and Central Asia) and GIP-Sofia, which is the regional project coordinating body for the SEE region, responsible for the establishment, monitoring of the activities and supervision of the work of the three expert centers in Moldova, Serbia and Bulgaria.