In Serbia, patients with mental health problems may be marginalized by society and by the healthcare establishment. Following a very negative conclusions of an investigation led by the Mental Disability Rights International (video), a group based in Washington DC, the Serbian government began a set of reforms that aimed at helping integrating patients with mental illnesses back into society. Unfortunately, the lack of necessary funding to purchase even the most basic material made this type of project hard to achieve.
At the Psychiatric Clinic “Laza Lazarević” in Belgrade, the hospital budget did not allow for the remodeling of the adult male in-patient M-ward, or even the purchase of new beds and mattresses. Between 2012 and 2013, SAMA raised more than $23,000, and was able to purchase $27,000 of the materials needed for renovations. Although the entire project was worth approximately $50,000, with the help of volunteers and donations in materials, we were able to pull it off at no additional cost!!!
The adult male ward is now sparkling and an appropriate place to care for psychiatric patients for years to come.
Thank you to all of you who have made this important project possible!!! In so many ways, you have truly improved and changed the life of some of the most vulnerable people in society!!!