The BEARR Small Grants Scheme 2017 invited bids for grants for projects dealing with mental health issues in 12 countries of our region.
The BEARR Trust received a large number of applications for grants this year, showing the urgent need in the area chosen. 168 applications were received, from Armenia (13), Azerbaijan (7), Belarus (11), Georgia (2), Kazakhstan (8), Kyrgyzstan (11), Moldova (5), Russia (34), Tajikistan (8), Ukraine (69). Section A was for projects in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, Section B for the other counties.
Grants were offered as follows:
International Society for Human Rights, Yerevan, Armenia for the project ‘Care for Adolescents with Mental Health Issues at Home’. The NGO plans to develop a guide on family care methods for adolescents with mental health issues; organise workshops for families on how to care for their children at home; and support these families with weekly visits and essential care products.
SOS Children’s Villages, Yerevan, Armenia for the project ‘Children with Mental Health Issues: A Challenge for Caregivers and Specialists’. The grant will be used to train school teachers and mothers of children with mental health issues, and to provide psychological services to children.
Open Doors, Nikopol, Ukraine for the project ‘Respect for Human Rights in the Field of Health – Mentally Ill People in Ukraine’. The NGO is planning to organise monitoring visits to psychiatric hospitals and boarding schools in Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhya regions, to monitor and analyse violations (including cases of torture and ill-treatment), prepare recommendations to the Ministries of Health and Social Policy, provide legal assistance to those whose rights had been violated; and organise a telephone hotline for those wishing to report violations of the rights of mentally ill people.
Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv, Ukraine for the project ‘From thought to action, from action to heart: overcoming the stigma of mental health disorders’. UCU is planning to train journalists about mental health problems and issues of stigmatisation and organise a public roundtable dedicated to mental health issues in Ukraine.
Chernobyl Children’s Project, UK, in partnership with Supporting Children Together, Gomel, Belarus for the project ‘Rehabilitation for Children and Adolescents after Treatment in Psychiatric Hospitals’. This project aims to help children reintegrate into their school and community after treatment and help reduce stigma of mental illness, as well as reduce the number of children being treated in psychiatric hospitals.
Public Fund ‘Gender-Vector’, Kara-Balta, Kyrgysztan, for their project ‘A Reboot’. The Fund is planning to organise training on mental health issues for the gay community, as well as a roundtable for media and psychologists.
Institute for Democracy, Comrat, Moldova, for the project ‘Psychological Assistance to Victims of Trafficking and Domestic Violence’. The grant will support a permanent centre for psychological assistance to victims of trafficking and domestic violence, running a telephone hotline and contributing to the creation of an inter-regional network of NGOs working in this field.
Public Organization ‘Arzanda’ Khujand, Tajikistan, for the project ‘Preventing mental health issues through awareness-raising activities and improving the social dialogue of households’ through workshops and work with local communities.
Further grants are still under discussion and may be awarded later in the year.
We send our congratulations and best wishes to all the grantees, and look forward to hearing about their experiences on completion of their projects. In addition to formal assessments, grantees will be asked to contribute a short report for publication in the BEARR Newsletter, so that everyone can learn from their experience.