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Photograph: Freeimages.com/Jelle Boontje

A EUR 670,000 twinning project was launched on Wednesday to improve mental health protection in Croatia.

Financed with funds from the Transition Facility for Croatia, the project should ensure that Croatia has a modern, active and accessible system of mental health protection. Its purpose is to strengthen the community capacity and raise public awareness of mental problems and disorders, Croatian Public Health Institute acting director Ranko Stevanovic told the project launch ceremony in Zagreb.

The one-year project will be implemented by the Croatian Ministry of Health, the Croatian Public Health Institute and the Trimbos Institute of Mental Health and Addiction from the Netherlands as the twinning partner.

Stevanovic said that mental disorders, along with cardiovascular diseases and neoplasms, were the most common diseases in Europe, where more than 30 percent of the population suffered from some form of mental health-related problems or disorders. He said that the situation in Croatia was similar.

Stevanovic said that the aim of the project was to enable early recognition of mental health disorders, their treatment and care after hospital treatment, and that the focus would be on strengthening national capacities and community services.

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