On April 16, Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF) hosted a meeting between the civil society representatives, mental health experts and newly appointed Deputy Healthcare Minister, Tamar Gabunia. The participants discussed mental health challenges, priority directions and mobilization of additional resources for this extremely important sphere. The meeting aimed at finding ways to improve the quality of mental health services and to increase access to them.
“The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the challenges and problems persisting in the sphere of mental health. The budget allocated for mental health has been increasing in recent years. It is important that this increased budget reaches those people, who really need it,” Irma Khabazi, head of OSGF Public Health Program, said.
“We have gathered again to discuss the issues about the development of mental health system in the country, what has been done till now and how it should develop further,” President of the Society of Georgian Psychiatrists, Eka Chkonia said.
“We would like to minimize and use the hospital infrastructure available in the country only in necessary cases. It is also extremely important to ensure optimal service quality, compliant to international standards,” Deputy Healthcare Minister, Tamar Gabunia said.
The Public Health Program of Open Society Georgia Foundation was actively involved in the process of de-institutionalization of mental health clinics, promoting the introduction of alternative mental health services instead of large facilities. For several years, the Foundation has been actively working on the development of community mental health services and the integration of patients with mental disorders into society.