The main goal of this project was to promote the topic of mental health and care for mental health in the community, through advocacy toward the Municipalities of Stari Grad and Zvezdara to introduce this category into their public policies as an important area of ​​public health. Through consultative meetings, education of citizens, employees and decision-makers and raising public awareness through a campaign, we advocated for the recognition of „mental health“ as a separate category within the Public Health Plans and Municipal Development Strategies. We worked to ensure that the local authorities recognize the importance of mental health protection and that they begin to systematically work on improving the support provided to their citizens, in order to raise the quality of life in this area. Through joint activities and education of municipal employees and management, we influenced the implementation of the recommendations of the current Action Plan of the Mental Health Protection Program (2019-2026), primarily related to the cooperation of CSOs and public institutions.


The message of the campaign „Neighbour, how are you?”: According to the 2021. “Cov2Soul” research results, conducted by public and mental health experts- every sixth citizen of Serbia meets the criteria for one of the more common psychiatric disorders. Every second person facing depression in Serbia does not seek help and support because they are worried about what their neighbors will say! (PIN, 2022, Cov2Soul, 2021). It is important to talk about mental health, and to pay more attention to it. Mental health is an integral part of the overall health of a person, and it is important to relocate mental health care from large institutions to the community, and make it available to everyone. With this campaign, we are addressing the decision makers of the municipality Stari grad because we believe that local public policies are the first step towards the reform of mental health care. We are advocating for recognition of mental health as a separate category in the Public Health Plan of this municipality. In addition, we want to inform and involve citizens in order to improve the quality of mental health care in our city. With this campaign, we want to reach as many young people as possible, as they represent particularly vulnerable groups in the field of mental health, given the numerous challenges they face. We believe that real change happens from bottom up- from the citizens themselves and their local communities, so with this campaign we want to encourage citizens to pay more attention to their own mental health and the mental health of their loved ones. The campaign is carried out as part of the „Mental Health for All“ project, which is supported through the Together for an Active Civil Society – ACT program, implemented by the Swiss non-governmental organization HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation and the Association of Citizens for Democracy and Civic Education- the Civic Initiatives.

The most important success of the project is that, for the first time, mental health was introduced into local public policies, specifically the Public Health Plans for the period 2022-2026 in municipalities Stari Grad and Zvezdara. Through meetings, round tables and education of municipal employees and citizens- the level of information and involvement in initiatives related to mental health has been significantly increased. The „Neighbor, how are you?“ campaign aimed to raise public awareness of the importance of improving mental health care. The campaign included public events and activities on social networks, and the biggest success was the involvement of people form the public life (actors, musicians, sportsmen, etc.), who contributed to the campaign by sending video messages inspired by the campaign theme, which attracted a lot of public attention.