Useful information about volunteering, fostering empathy towards all living beings, starting a dialogue about mental health and in the languages of national minorities, as well as ways to direct the strengths of parents and children towards a positive environment in the family. All these are just some of the results of the events organised by the EU info Point Novi Sad as part of the ninth Mental Health Festival.

The Mental Health Festival was held from October 10 to 20 in Novi Sad and some places in Vojvodina. This year’s Festival united institutions, organisations and associations in the realisation of more than 40 events with one main motive, “Empathy”.

EU info point organized four events for all generations in Novi Sad and Pančevo, which united not only the main slogan and motto of the festival “Empathy”, but also started communication about these important topics for our society as a whole and for each individual.

At the opening of the Mental Health Festival on October 10 in Sokolski dom, about 30 organizations presented their work. EU info point Novi Sad presented its work and useful publications on the activities of the Delegation of the European Union in Serbia with an interactive quiz on the topic of mental health.

At the opening of the Festival, actors from “Državni posao” performed a short skit, as well as the band “Sklonište” KC and the “Dobri ljudi” orchestra, made up of students from Elementary School “Dr. Milan Petrović”.

The very next day, the children’s workshop “Living comics – plants as comic heroes” was held in the Eco Pavilion of the National Garden in Pančevo. The workshop designed by psychologist Katarina Stojanović Kostić aims to educate children about recycling and planting plants in an interactive way. During this workshop, the students of “Branko Radičević” Elementary School also learned about fostering a responsible attitude towards the environment and other living beings.

The workshop for parents “A child in which strength flourishes” was held on October 14 in OPENS, and was realised in cooperation with the Institute for Positive Psychology and introduced parents to the principles of positive psychology and positive education, with a focus on improving children’s well-being. Parents learned about the factors that influence happiness, but also about cooperation and good communication in the family, and how by using the strengths that each person has, they can contribute to the development and betterment of both the child and the whole family. This workshop is part of the ERASMUS+ program: “A school where strengths flourish”, which is concerned with improving the quality of education and the emotional well-being of students and teachers.

An information session regarding volunteering opportunities in Novi Sad was held on October 16 in the premises of OPENS. At this workshop, which was realized in cooperation with the Institute for Public Health of Vojvodina, various opportunities for young people were shown, with a special focus on volunteering programs for young people in the countries of the European Union, but also in other organizations that are supported by the European Union.

The event “Talks about empathy and mental health in the languages of national minorities” held on October 17 at the Svilara Cultural Center contributed to the opening of space for conversations about empathy and mental health in Hungarian, Ruthenian and Slovak languages, so that dialogues on these topics would be more accessible. more citizens.

Let us remind you that the European Union, as well as its Embassy in Serbia, supports positive initiatives and projects that share some of the main values of this community, such as tolerance, support and care for health – physical and mental.

Thus, the “Good People” orchestra originated from an EU project, cross-border cooperation between Serbia and Hungary. Members of the orchestra use instruments with special sensors, including the Sound beam, with the help of which even people with limited mobility are enabled to actively participate in the performance and creation of music. This equipment was provided by the Hungary-Serbia cross-border cooperation project “Cross-Border Sound, Dance and Image for People with Disabilities”. Their repertoire includes well-known European and world numbers, including the aria La Donna è mobile, the anthem of the European Union Ode to Joy, as well as the numbers What a Wonderful World, Djelem djelem, Radioactivity and others.

Another project supported by the European Union is “Improving health care in neurology and psychiatry – longer life”. The project in question is the INTEREG IPA Cross-Border Cooperation Program Romania – Serbia, and it was financed by the European Union, with co-financing by the countries participating in the program. With this project, ultrasound equipment was acquired for the departments of neurology and psychiatry and the psychiatry building was reconstructed, which is the oldest brick building in the Smederevo hospital and dates back to 1921.