University of Illinois at Chicago Office of Public Affairs (MC 288)
601 S. Morgan St., Chicago, IL 60607-7113, (312) 996-3456, www.uic.edu/depts/paff
REBUILDING THE BALKANS' MENTAL HEALTH CARE SERVICES
WHAT: The Balkan wars have ended, but overwhelming psychological needs remain as survivors of ethnic cleansing seek help. UIC's department of psychiatry, with its Project on Genocide, Psychiatry and Witnessing, has been working with Balkan doctors over the past several years on mental health reform in their countries.
Leading psychiatrists from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Kosovo will speak on the challenges they face at a UIC conference entitled, "War and Reform: Rebuilding Systems of Mental Health Care in Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia and Kosovo."
Boris Astrachan, M.D., department of psychiatry, UIC
Ferid Agani, M.D., associate director, clinical services, University Hospital, Kosovo
Ismet Ceric, M.D., mental health coordinator, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Vlado Jukic, M.D., psychiatric hospital director, Vrapce, Croatia
Stevan Weine, M.D., co-director, UIC Project on Genocide, Psychiatry and Witnessing
Ivan Pavkovic, M.D., executive director, UIC Project on Genocide, Psychiatry and Witnessing
WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 3, 2 - 4 p.m.
WHERE: UIC, Chicago Illini Union, room 219, 828 S. Wolcott Ave.
DETAILS: Balkan countries are ill-equipped to address the widespread trauma created by recent wars. Hospitals that treat the severely mentally ill have been ruined or destroyed, and medical professionals are in short supply. Seeking the help of the international community, Agani, Ceric and Jukic are trying to build mental health care systems that meet their countries' needs by relying less on individual care and focusing more on strengthening families and providing community services.
Pavkovic drafted and secured the passage of mental health care legislation in Croatia protecting patients' rights and is involved in a similar effort in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo. Weine leads research funded by the National Institute of Mental Health on community therapy for Balkan refugees in Chicago and is author of the book, "When History Is a Nightmare: Lives and Memories of Ethnic Cleansing in Bosnia-Herzegovina."
The conference is sponsored by the UIC department of psychiatry's Project on Genocide, Psychiatry and Witnessing -- an interdisciplinary, community-based approach to aiding survivors of war. The panelists, who are in the U.S. for a one-month curriculum on building state mental health care systems, are available for interviews. To schedule, call Sharon Butler, 312-355-2522.
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