Russia: New Council for mental health NGOs

New Council of NGOs in the field of mental health protection in Russia

It will establish cooperation between NGOs and the professional psychiatric community.


The Council will work under the direction of the Russian Society of Psychiatrists, which includes the heads of non-profit organisations from 85 Russian regions.

The aim of the Council is two-fold. To develop a socially-oriented system for the medical and social rehabilitation for children and adults with mental health issues, and to coordinate the work of NGOs, the Psychiatric Society, the authorities, and the media.

The first Council meeting was held on 15 September, and participants outlined the direction of their work. Their priorities include the creation of a service to protect the rights of people with mental illness, public supervision of psychiatric hospitals, the development of a volunteer movement in the field of psychiatry, dealing with issues of medical and social expertise, the development of adaptive sports for people with intellectual disabilities, inclusive education, and the employment of people with mental illness.

The organising committee of the council was also elected at the meeting. The elected representatives are as follows:

  • Igor Shpitsberg, director of the rehabilitation centre “Our Sunny World” which supports children with disabilities

  • Anna Bitova, the Chairman of the Board for the Centre for Therapeutic Pedagogy

  • Vladimir Tolmachev, the Chairman of the Nizhny Novgorod regional branch of “New Opportunities”, a public organisation for people with disabilities

  • Nataliya Tolpekina, president of the Ladybird Foundation for children with cerebral palsy and other chronic illnesses
  • Andrey Tsarev, Chairman of the Council of the public organisation “Equal Opportunities” which supports people with mental disabilities and psychophysiological disorders.

Nataliya Treushnikova, President of the Union for Mental Health Protection, was voted Chairman of the committee.


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