Some 30,000 persons asked for help in mental health units during the last year, while some 500 adolescents were treated in hospitals for mental health issues, said Biljana Lakic, the entity coordinator for the mental health in Bosnia's Republika Srpska (RS) entity.
Speaking on occasion of the World Mental Health Day, October 10, Lakic said it was necessary to raise the awareness of the importance of mental health and to reduce the stigma and discrimination that follows mental disorders.
“The ambient in which the people live mostly affects their mental health. The number of refugees, displaced persons in the world, the youth exposed to natural disasters, crisis and war situations, peer violence and abuses, is enormous. Modern technologies brought many advantages but they could also be a source of additional pressure,” Lakic warned.
The youth is a particularly vulnerable category here, according to Assistant Minister of Health and Social Welfare of RS Milan Latinovic, who said that a study that the ministry conducted had shown 6 percent of young people used alcohol and psychoactive substances.
Latinovic stressed the importance of raising the awareness of the citizens when it comes to mental diseases and disorders.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is carrying out a project of mental health improvement, which is supported by the Swiss Government. Project leader Dzenita Hrelja-Hasecic emphasized the project focused on the expert and financial support to the activities carried out by the entity health ministries.
27 centres for the mental health protection were established in RS and five regional teams that will be dealing with child psychiatry will be formed soon.