The World Health Organization established a mental health unit as part of the UN Kosovo team and conducted a rapid assessment to understand the country’s mental health needs.
Mental Health Task Force
The Mental Health Task Force was created by Kosovar neuropsychiatrists and consisted of psychiatrists from different regions as well as representatives of WHO’s mental health unit. The Mental Health Task Force focused on developing a mental health reform strategy, which incorporated new approaches in the field, local problems, hidden resources, and various options for reorganizing services.
Mental Health Strategic Plan
The Mental Health Strategic Plan was drafted to cover the mental health policy and the implementation plan. Mental health became one of the five priority health areas within the health policy of the relevant authority (UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo – UNMIK – Health Department) soon after the Strategic Plan was developed.
Reform of Asylum
The Shtime Special Institution, Kosovo’s asylum, was transformed into the Center for Integration and Rehabilitation. It is for long term patients and is a part of community based mental health services, managed by the Ministry of Health.
Linking primary health care to mental health services
Community based mental health services remain separate from primary health care in Kosovo. However, training was provided to all primary health care teams on:
- New vision of mental health
- Need for community based services
- Existence and contents of the Mental Health Strategic Plan
- How to work effectively with mental health teams
- Basic psychopathology and treatment