Improving mental health in rural communities

Improving mental health in rural communities

Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
< $1,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

In a pilot rural community individuals, families and health care providers will be educated how to talk about mental disorders, to recognize them and treat. A campaign to promote tolerant environment for people with mental disorders will take place and people will be motivated to think about their mental health.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Inhabitants of rural communities are not able to recognize mental disorders in theirselves, or they are affraid to report symptoms to their physicians, because of fear from stigma and discrimination. General practitioners are also not well educated neither to speak with their patients about mental disorders nor to recognize their sypmtoms, because traditionally mental disorders are treated by phychiatrists on the demand of patient, but they are not present in any rural community.
About You
Centre for education, tolerance and multiculturalism
Section 1: About You
First Name


Last Name


Website URL
Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name

Centre for education, tolerance and multiculturalism

Organization Phone


Organization Address
Organization Country
Your idea
Country your work focuses on
What makes your idea unique?

Direct work in rural community and promotion of self-education of people and healath care providers. Making of "a mental health conscious community" as an example for future developmnent of similar communities. The intervention will terget everyone in the community - citizens, health care providers, local authorities and decission makers and media.

Do you have a patent for this idea?

What impact have you had?

CETIM /Centre for Education, Tolerance and Multiculturalism) is a newly formed NGO. It consists of experts who are different nationalities and are succesfull in their professions, devoted to promote tolerance and multiculturalism on local and global level, with a special attention to rural communities.


1. Preparing curricula for individuals and for general practitioners by leading experts.
2. Distribution of CD's with lectures, training course materials and other promotional and educational materials to every houshold and health care provider in pilot rural community
3. Educational campaign in local media as well as campaign for sensitivity of public to this problem in schools and enterprises
4. Advocacy to local authorities to make program sustainable in the future
5. Promotion of activities on national and international level
6. Monitoring and evaluation of activities and results


1. Rural health care providers are educated how to talk with every patient about mental health and how to recognize symptoms and threat them
2. Individuals from rural communities are trained how to recognize symptoms of mental disorders and how to report them to hteir health providers
3. Families from rural communities have learned how to support member of family with mental disorder
4. A pilot rural community bacame first "mental health conscious community"

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

1. Recognition from local authorities, accepteness from health care providers and public
2. Spreading activities to other communities
3. Recognition a general practitioners, not psychiatrist as a baseline for prevention and treatment of mental disorders

What would prevent your project from being a success?

Lack of support from menagement of health institutions and Health insurence to change current system of prescribing drugs for some mental disorders just py psychiatrists

How many people will your project serve annually?

More than 10,000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

$100 ‐ 1000

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy?


What stage is your project in?

Idea phase

In what country?
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?


If yes, provide organization name.

Centre for Eduacation, Tolerance and Multiculturalism - CETIM

How long has this organization been operating?

Less than a year

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?


Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

The organization is newly formed and it is in the process of making partnerships both with NGO and government,

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

1. Availability for experts invloved in organization to fully devote their work to organization and its initiatives
2. To establish an office of organization
3. To include organization in an international network providing international collaboration with similar organizations

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

My first workplace was a GP in a small rural community. As a young doctor living in that community I recognize a lot of silent mental disorders among inhabitants, but they were rarely ready to speak about it in the GP office. From the other hand, as a doctor I hadn't enough training to recognize all the symptoms and to know hot to speak with my patients about it.
After that I moved to University and started to teach students about the epidemiology of mental disorders. During my university career a learned a lot about the problem, but I am always going back in my thinking to rural communities where university knowledge is often unreachable. Thus I decided to devote my career to improvement of health in rural communities.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

I'm a medical doctor with PhD in public health and with a specialization in epidemiology.
2000-2002 I was working in primary care
2002-present I'm working in Institute of public health of Vojvodina in the Centre for disease control and prevention. I also teach epidemiology and public health at the University of Novi Sad.
I focused my work to vulnerable population, especially from rural communities and national minorities.
I was also involved in democratic changes in Serbia in recent years with the focus of promotion of multiculturalism.
Together with other experts and friends I was one of the funders of Centre for education, tolerance and multuculturalism this year.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Through another organization or company

If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company

Gradjanske inicijative