Empowering mental health service users in 5 regions of Azerbaijan

Project duration

February 2012 – January 2014


European Union and the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Azerbaijan Republic

Project goal

To contribute to sustainable development and poverty reduction in Azerbaijan, to foster participatory approach of mental health service users seeking for their empowerment and integration to the society, and to improve user involvement into mental health services in Azerbaijan through capacity building of local NGOs.

Project results

During the project implementation mental health service users’ movements were established in 5 in-patient and/or out-patient institutions providing mental health services in Baku, Quba, Ganja, Shaki regions. An online resource centre was established to store methodological materials on community-based mental health services, psychosocial rehabilitation, human rights and mental health users’ movements, as well as on development of non-governmental sector in the field of mental health.

Conducted public opinion poll revealed that Azerbaijan society has very little information about mental health service users and therefore are often guided by prevailing myths and stereotypes. Especially the ones that are related to the possibilities of this target group to live independently, to start a family, etc. Those myths are often created/supported by the media, therefore project also focused on building the capacities of Azerbaijan journalists to properly depict mental health service users in mass media.

Given the fact that non-governmental sector is poorly developed in Azerbaijan, the project had trained “Change agents”, who will likely contribute to reinforcement and development of the civil society organizations in order to ensure proper participation of mental health service users, as well as their rights protection.

Project partner

Initiative for the sake of development