Visit to the “Creative Space for Mental Health”

Representatives of SDC, Biljana Đušić Radmilović and Helvetas, Gorana Radovanović, visited today the organization Prostor, which was supported under the grant “Strengthening local communities”.

The space is supported in the implementation of the advocacy initiative “Mental health for all”, which refers to advocacy at the local level in two Belgrade municipalities, Zvezdara and Stari Grad. Mina Aleksić, the president of the organization, and her colleague Irena Stojadinović, informed us about the advocacy successes so far related to participation in the preparation of the “Public Health Plan” document, which is a statutory obligation of the municipality, and which includes a segment related to the protection of the mental health of the population and municipality, thanks to the efforts of this organization.

Mina pointed out that she and her colleagues were positively surprised by the openness to cooperation during the talks with local governments, as well as that the corona virus pandemic additionally highlighted the importance of preserving people’s mental health. Their goal is to expand their advocacy initiative so that other municipalities also introduce the “mental health” category in their public health plans and strategies, which will indirectly affect the improvement of the support citizens receive in this area.

The Prostor organization continuously provides support to its users through the organization of activities such as self-help groups, public events and art workshops, exhibitions and sales fairs. When asked what was most useful in the process of ACT’s support for the organization Prostor, they singled out the learning process, structure in the work and in the reporting process, and mentoring. What they would suggest is the need for the advocacy process itself to take longer.

When it comes to further plans and activities, they are working rapidly on the preparation of the “World Mental Health Day”, which is celebrated on October 10 every year, and this year Prostor will mark it with its partners through a series of activities throughout October that ACT and SDC will accompany .