Project

The project “Building the Capacities of BiH Institutions to Address Mental Health Issues Amongst Defence Personnel in BiH” will serve to enhance the capacities of the Ministry of Defense (MoD), the Federal Ministry of Health and Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Republika Srpska (MoHs) in providing a systematic response to mental health issues in current and discharged personnel of the Armed Forces of BiH as well as in relation to their participation to peacekeeping missions.

Best practices, experiences and expertise of different countries could serve as a starting point, but BiH needs to develop its own model that is coordinated with the tangible current and future needs of the country.

This action has been initiated by relevant BiH authorities, facilitated by IOM and supported by Nordic Baltic Initiative (NBI).

The principal goal of the project is to create a permanent structure to manage mental health issues and the prevention of negative psychosocial consequences in all members of the MoD/AF BiH (new recruits, active duty staff, discharged and retired members and their families, and particularly members of AF BiH participating in peacekeeping missions).

In consideration of the researches which suggest that BiH has a high prevalence of mental health issues in a post-conflict context, addressing these problems at all levels of society, in both a civilian and military context, is a prerequisite for the future well-being of the population and the stabilisation of the whole country.

In this context, it has been acknowledged that the commitment of BiH institutions to this project exists at all levels.

The principal goal of the project is to create a permanent structure to manage mental health issues and the prevention of negative psychosocial consequences in all members of the MoD/AF BiH (new recruits, active duty staff, discharged and retired members and their families, and particularly members of AF BiH participating in peacekeeping missions).

In addition, the new permanent structure will serve to ensure the provision of necessary professional assistance and the networking with civilian healthcare institutions to facilitate the rehabilitation of those persons requiring support.

Furthermore this initiative should be seen in a broader regional and Euro-Atlantic integration perspective because supporting the defence sector reforms in BiH and establishment of adequate mental health support to MoD staff (particularly in relation to peacekeeping mission) will also contribute to security and stability. In addition, a competent and skilled BiH MoD would be able to support and assist other countries in the region in developing their own systems and enhancing the process of regional cooperation, which is essential element for attaining regional stabilisation.