Georgian Association of Children Mental Health (GACMH)
Association Name (English)
Georgian Association of Children Mental Health (GACMH)
About the association
GACMH is a nongovernmental and noncommercial organization (ID 405075760, registered on 16 December, 2014) which was founded with mission to improve the mental health and participation of children and adolescents with mental disorders by promoting research and implementation of results of evidence-based research into practice.
The aims of the Association:
- To promote scientific and needs driven research into children and adolescent’s mental health and facilitate dissemination of the results;
- To apply research findings in the assessment and management of children and adolescent’s mental health;
- To promote teaching and training for professionals in all aspects of children and adolescent’s mental health;
- To foster and participate in collaboration between all stakeholders involved in the care of children and adolescent’s mental health problems including parents, careers and professionals;
- To encourage and support stakeholders in developing services in the field of children and adolescent’s mental health;
- To maintain ethical and scientific standards in all activities of the Association.
The GACMH is a founder and a member of Child Development Coalition of Georgia and actively involved in every activities of the Coalition.
Projects of GACMH:
- 2016 - Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation grant №SS16_B_006 - seasonal school for young scientists in Batumi State University: “Neurodevelopmental disorders: evidence and opportunities”.
The aim of the project was to offer insights for attendees into the heterogeneity, cultural, political and every-day context of research of neurodevelopmental disorders, to raise interest in it, to inform them about European and international standards of research, new approaches and attitudes, to establish international contacts and cooperation.
The lecturers and instructors were representatives of US, Portugal, and Georgian Universities. Attendees were 40 recent graduates, postgraduates and working professionals. The regional cooperating organization is Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University.
The main topics of the school were: (1) Modern approaches of early identification and management of neurodevelopmental disorders; (2) Early childhood intervention – international concepts, national initiatives and practices;
It also laid grounds for creation and implementation of specialization and master’s programs in speech and language therapy, and in childhood early intervention, and future collaboration and international networking.
- 2016-2017 - Open Society Foundation Georgia grant №20358 – “Supporting Development of Services for Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders”
The aim of the project was to building the capacity of human resources in Adjara region in order to fill the existing gap related to the lack of professionals in ECI service provision, to promote development of ECI services, creation of a new team for mountainous regions, helping them to provide ECI services to children in remote areas.
Activities to achieve the objective included support of young scientists’ seasonal school in funding of three international trainers’ accommodation and one trainers’ travel, provide training and supervision of the new team members of Khulo and Kobuleti districts (20 participants), equip them with needed materials for ECI service provision.
- 2017 - Open Society Foundation Georgia grant №20460 - “Promoting Implementation of Social Model in Services for Children with Developmental Disabilities”.
The aim of the project was to support ECI service provision, provide supervision of Kobuleti team and equip them with needed materials, to advocate increase of vouchers funded by regional ministry.
- 2018 - Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation grant MG_CG_02 - 30th Conference of European Academy of Childhood Disability “Together We Are Stronger”.
The aim of the project was to conduct 30th Meeting of European Academy of Childhood Disability in Tbilisi, Georgia. The meeting was attended by 497 professionals from 45 different countries, 188 of them had a chance to present their works (254 presentations). The audience consisted of scientists and the professionals from different disciplines related to childhood disability.
The video-footage on ECI system development in Georgia has been presented during closing ceremony. The audience unanimously rose to its feet in a standing ovation.
- 2018 - Open Society Foundation Georgia grant № Med/20/17-20714 - Co-funding of the 30th annual Conference of the European Academy of Childhood Disability (EACD).
The aim was to support holding of the 30th annual conference of European Academy of Childhood Disability (EACD), conduct pre-conference mini-symposium on ECI in Tbilisi, and prepare and make 10 min footage about ECI system development and childhood disability in Georgia for opening ceremony of the event, on 28-31 May, 2018.
- 2019-2023 - Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation grant FR-18-304 - Prevalence, clinical characteristics and risk-factors of autism spectrum disorders in Georgia.
The aim of the study is to estimate the prevalence of ASD and identify its clinical characterization, and risk factors in the population of 8-year-old children in Georgia. The study was conducted with consultants (professors: Bennet Leventhal, Young Shin Kim and Somer Bishop) from California San Francisco University.
Key appointment holders
The chair - Maia Gabunia, MD, PhD, child neurologist, director of Mental Health Center Gamma;
The deputy chair - Medea Zirakashvili, MD, child psychiatrist;
The secretary – Lana Burjanadze, psychologist.