Georgian Association of Mental Health (GAMH)
is a non-governmental organization, which was founded in 1991. It unites mental health professionals, people with mental problems (users, ex-users), their relatives and concerned civilians.

GAMH’s vision is that people with mental disorders must be integrated into society and provided with all the opportunities to live in dignity.

GAMH seeks to promote Mental Health Care reforms in Georgia through developing community-based approach and suporting deinstitucionalization.
In order to accomplish its mission, GAMH carries out the following activities: advocating and lobbying for reforms in mental health care in Georgia, raising public awareness, facilitating mental health policy and legislation development, empowering and providing support to the patients’ &relatives’ organizations, conducting training of Georgian mental health professionals in psychotherapy and psychosocial rehabilitation.

GAMH strategy for (2009-2013):

During these years GAMH is planning:
  • With mental health coation support the Ministry of Health in elaboration of Mental Health Policy; lobby for implementation this policy; also support the ministry in improvement of the State Program of Psychiatric Care;
  • Lobbing for mental health care reforms and funding increasing.
  • Facilitate the adaptation of modern methods of psycho-social rehabilitation to the context of Georgia;
  • Provide training on psychotherapy, psychosocial rehabilitation, about new “Georgia law on psychiatry care” and about principals of community-based mental health care;
  • Support patients’& relatives’ organizations development;
  • Arranging public awareness companiesfor influencing public attitude towards the people with mental disabilities;
GAMH main achievements

Georgian Association for Mental Health has achieved considerable development, which is manifested in the implemented projects, the “variety” of current activities and their influence on policy level in government.

GAMH are working at 3 following stages:

Micro stage – services delivery: psycho-social rehabilitation Center;

Meso stage - conducting training, to share knowledge and experience with other mental health organizations.

Macro stage - lobbing for mental health reforms, supporting the Georgian Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs in developing the Georgia Mental Health Policy and Strategic Plan.

As a result of active lobbying by GAMH with other organizations the Ministry of Labor, Health, and Social Affairs (MoLHSA) improved Annual State Psychiatric Program. GAMH cooperate with the Parliamentary Committee of Health and Social Protection. Through GAMH facilitation has been elaborated a new Georgian “Law on Psychiatric Care”, which was adopted by Georgian parliament in 2007. Since 1998 Psycho-social Rehabilitation Centre project for people with mental disorders is being carried out. About 40-45 people with mental disorders attend the centre daily and are provided with psychosocial rehabilitation based on modern methods such as the Social Independent Living Skills and Integrated Psychological Therapy. Here art, ergo, and psychotherapy groups are functioning, as well. This centre has been co-financed by State.

After GAMH’s lobbing a psychosocial rehabilitation component was included in the State Program for Psychiatric Care. As a result, the outpatient clinics (psycho-neurological dispensaries) based in 3 rural regions of Georgia received small-scale state financing for carrying out psychosocial rehabilitation programs. The medical staff at these clinics as well as other specialists working in various state and non-governmental organizations that have a mental health mandate are trained in modern rehabilitation methods in a special training program developed by GAMH, which is based on the unique experiences of the psychosocial rehabilitation centre in Tbilisi for the last decade.

List of implemented projects during 2004-2009

1. Together with Mental health coalition project “ Psychosocial Support of War-Affected Population

2. Development of Community Based Mental Health Care in Georgia– Jan 2004-2009 funded by Cordaid, Misereor, Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia;

3. Outreach Work and Mobile Team in Mental Health – Jan 2006- Apr 2007 funded by Cordaid

4. Workshop “ Mental Health Services –budgeting and financing” – Sep-Dec 2006 funded by World Health Organization

5. Assessment Methods for Mental Health Systems (research project ) – May 2006-February 2007 funded by World Health Organization

6. Treatment Guidelines of Mental Disorders – Aug - Dec 2006, funded by Global Initiative in Psychiatry-Tbilisi

7. Introducing New Georgian Law on Psychiatry Care - Oct 2005-Apr 2006, funded by GIP-Tbilisi

8. Mental Health Service Users involvement – Apr 2005- Sept-2005, funded by Open Society Mental Health Initiative

9. Training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Sept 2004-Oct 2006, funded by GIP-Tbilisi;


Publications:

1. The Situation of People with Mental Health Problems and People with Intellectual Disabilities, Needs Assessment Report, Georgia, www.osmhi.org/contentpics

2. Georgia country profile www.mental-neurological-health.net

3. WHO- AIMS Report on Mental Health System in Georgia: Country Report. 2006

4. Georgia mental health country profile. Int Rev Psychiatry 2004; 16, 107-16.[Medline]

5. Mental health reform in Eastern Europe. Eurohealth 2001,7: 15-21.

6. Manual on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy . Tbilisi. 2007

7. Manual Psychosocial Rehabilitation. Tbilisi. 2002

8. Case management in Psychiatry. Tbilisi 2002


Contact information:
   
Address: 10 Asatiani. 0177 Tbilisi, Georgia
Tel: (+995 32)3978 44/ 311080/ 312070 fax: (+995 32)31 10 80
E-mail: mental@gamh.org.ge
Website www.gamh.org.ge
Contact person: Manana Sharashidze
 

 

Development and piloting of the community-based mental health outpatient service model in Georgia