Online Conference - Providing Mental Health Services during Covid 19 Pandemic

On October 11, 2021, the Public Defender’s Office of Georgia, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), organized an online conference dedicated to the World Mental Health Day. The theme of the conference was: “Providing Mental Health Services during the Covid 19 Pandemic."

The conference discussed the quality of delivery of psychiatric inpatient and community outpatient services during the pandemic. Participants also talked about mental health and effects of Covid 19 on people with mental health problems.

"The implementation of virus prevention recommendations is closely linked to infrastructural, financial and other challenges that have existed in the system for years. The inadequate infrastructure and overcrowding of most of the inpatient psychiatric facilities largely hamper the implementation of Covid 19 prevention measures, improvement in the epidemiological situation and safe management of patients," Public Defender Nino Lomjaria said at the opening of the event.

Tamar Gabunia, Deputy Minister of IDPs from the Occupied Territories of Georgia, Labour, Health and Social Affairs, and Anna Chernishova, DeputyResident Representative of UNDP in Georgia, also delivered welcoming speeches at the meeting.

The findings of the study drawn up by the Public Defender’s Office – “Safe Provision of Mental Health Care Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic” were presented by Nino Valikova, a representative of the Public Defender’s Office, and authors of the study, Marine Kuratashvili and Ketevan Gelashvili. Eka Chkonia, Chairperson of the Georgian Psychiatric Physicians Association, and Ketevan Pilauri, a representative of Ilia State University and Global Initiative on Psychiatry – Tbilisi, spoke about mental health and the effects of the pandemic on people with mental health problems.

The online event was attended by professionals working in the field of psychiatry, community members, representatives of organizations working on issues relating to persons with disabilities, international and local civil society organizations and other stakeholders.

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