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The CARe Network is organising a working conference focusing on


A programme for psychological and social recovery

6 – 7 October 2022

Split, Croatia

The CARe Network is welcoming you to a conference that brings together experiences and knowledge about recovery, open dialogue, experiential knowledge, and community inclusion.


The conference will emphasize social solidarity and worldwide support to Ukraine from the international community. Sharing stories of sorrow, hope and resilience, and developing a programme to support rebuilding lives and communities will be our contribution to social cohesion, social capital and inclusion at an international level. We especially focus on the support we can offer for restoring mental health services, and for psychological and social recovery.


The conference takes place in the ancient city of Split, located on the beautiful coast of the Adriatic Sea. It is free of charge, but you have to take care of your own travel and accommodation. In case you need assistance, please contact Pavel Říčan, general coordinator of the CARe Network.


Venue: Meeting centre of the Bar Association, Zrinsko-Frankopanska street 8, Split, Croatia.


​The programme will include a mix of key-note presentations, workshops and creative activities. We have place for 60 participants, to optimize interactive learning and development.


Thursday 6th of October “Transforming and Enriching Mental Health Care”


Highlights of the programme:

  • Welcome by Pavel Říčan, general coordinator of the CARe Network, Radmila Stojanovic Babic, on behalf of the organising committee.

  • Keynote: The next step in deinstitutionalisation: connecting to the community, by Jean Pierre Wilken, professor at Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, with contributions of Dagmar Narusson and others.

  • Keynote: The next step in developing recovery services: adding your experiential knowledge to mental health care, by Alie Weerman, professor at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences

  • Keynote: Open Dialogue, principles and practice, by Dagmar Narusson, lecturer Tartu University.

  • Interactive workshop: Peers in action. The value of peer work in self help groups and recovery colleges. Moderated by Dirk den Hollander, Zsuzsa Kondor, Zdenek Císař and Michal Kašpar.

  • Interactive workshop: Recovery in movement. 

  • Afternoon: Creating islands and Building Bridges. interactive workshops with presenters, to learn more, exchange experiences and explore how new developments can be implemented in your country.

  • Evening: Discovering and strengthening the body and adding flexibility, strength, stamina, and skills, GAGA dance session by Nataša Novotná, Czech dancer, choreographer and lecturer.

Friday 7th of October “Building a support programme for recovery and community (re) building”


This day we concentrate on the new challenges connected with war events, how to find hope after experienced destruction, trauma and loss. To do so, we want to build on the knowledge collected on the previous day. We will share stories and experiences and develop together ideas and strategies that can be part of a psychosocial support program that can contribute to overcoming trauma and rebuilding communities.


Highlights of the programme:

  • Keynote: Stories of loss, resilience, and hope, by Nino Makhashvili, psychiatrist with more than 20 years of  experience with war-affected populations and severe trauma survivors.

  • Sharing experiences of oppression, trauma and recovery. What is needed to support resilience, recovery and community building?

Stories from Ukraine (Galyna Guk and Mykola Khomitskiy), Armenia (Lilit Baghdasaryan, Narine Khachatryan), Georgia (Nino Makhashvili), Kazakhstan (Bakytzhan Khudiyarov, Gulzhan Amageldinova), Kyrgyzstan (Begaiym Borbieva, Aigul Alikanova) and Croatia (Dolores Britvić)

  • Keynote: Leendert de Bell, professor social entrepreneurship, specialised in refugee support regarding participation in the labour market and return programmes.

  • Development workshops: developing ideas, strategies, and programs that can be used to support post-war recovery, trauma-informed mental health care and community (re)building.


For more information about the programme, speakers and moderators, see below or click the link.


Because the number of places is limited, please register as soon as possible.



Dr. Leendert de Bell is appointed professor to promote sustainable labour participation of refugees at University of Applied Sciences Utrecht and is academic staff member of the Centre for Entrepreneurship at Utrecht University. He holds a PhD degree in International Development Studies. His current research focuses on labour market integration of vulnerable groups, in particular of refugees. He has been engaged in several (trans-) national research projects, among which scaling the societal impact of (work-integration) social enterprises, urban innovative actions for the integration of migrants and refugees through entrepreneurship, and leveraging the human and social capital of refugees to the benefit of the individual, the host country and the home country.

Nino Makhashvili, MD., Ph.D. By background I am a psychiatrist and over the years have worked in in-patient and outpatient mental health clinics in Georgia. Since mid-90’s I have been involved in psychosocial support to refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), prisoners, victims of interpersonal violence, torture, etc. Nowadays, with the GIP-T team, I work on structural changes of the mental health care systems in countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia, also in Ukraine.

As an associate professor of healthcare and head of the Mental Health Resource Center at Ilia State University, Tbilisi and am involved in academic teaching and research activities. I lead the MA Program on Mental Health and am a co-lead of International PhD program on Public Health.

My research interests include the mental health of war-affected populations, the epidemiology of mental disorders, systems of mental health services, rights-based mental health.

Together with my team I am involved in deinstitutionalization processes in my region, community-based service development, lobbying of trauma-informed and trauma-specific services, also we are active in prison mental health and forensic psychiatry.

Alie Weerman is a professor of mental health care and society, working at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands. She is a psychologist by background with lived experiences. She is a leading expert in the Netherlands on experiential knowledge.

Begaiym Borbieva is a psychologist coming from a sunny Osh of Kyrgyzstan . Begaiym is a psychologist with 8 years of work experience in CBT as practicioner and a trainer. Moreover, Begaiym is the supervisor of the peer support groups in Osh city by Recovery Center which was funded by the Fund of Soros. The Last year Kyrgyzstan had experienced border clashes between Tajikistan, Begaiym was supervising the group of mental health professionals of MSF, UNFPA as well as she was part of the multidisciplanary team of Recovery Center in Batken Region. In addition, Begaiym is a supervisor to psychologists of International Cambridge school. In her experience, Begaiym was part of the team of the first pilot multidisciplanary Program in Kyrgyzstan that was integrated to the department of psychiatry

Radmila Stojanović Babić, social pedagogue, the CARe model trainer, Integrative therapist

She worked in the business sector until 2006.  Education in Integrative therapy brought her a better understanding of the people, relationships, and outlook on life. She is a co-founder of the Association for Psychosocial Assistance Susret in Zagreb (Croatia). Susret pioneered community-based housing and support for people with mental health challenges in Croatia. By embedding, modeling, and communicating a culture of hope, Susret's team supports a person's recovery journey.

As of 2011, she is a guest lecturer at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Law, Study of Social Sciences (Course Mental Health). With future social workers, she shares her experience in bringing hope, support for personal dignity, recovery, and social inclusion.

Pavel Říčan is a sociologist and a lecturer with almost 20 years of experience in community mental health services. Since 2014 he works as a Director of Centre for Mental Health Care
Development based in Prague. Pavel is involved in numerous projects and innovative activities in mental health. He likes simple, effective and recovery oriented approach

Jean Pierre Wilken is a social scientist and psychologist. He is a professor of Social Work at the Research Centre for Social Innovation (University of Applied Sciences Utrecht) in the Netherlands. He is also a visiting professor at the Department of Sociology, Relational Social Work Research Centre of the Catholic University of Milan, Italy. and professor Community Development and Social Well-Being at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Social Studies of Tartu University, Estonia. He is cofounder and president of the CARe Network. His fields of interest are mental health recovery, community building, social inclusion and experiential knowledge.


Galyna Guk is a psychiatrist, mental health consultant at Zaporizhzhia State Medical University, Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, General and Medical Psychology Narcology and Sexology. She is also a psychiatrist, mental health consultant for ua/ru-speaking citizens (including ukrainian refugees, victims of Belarus political repression regime) in Warsaw city clinic.




Nataša Novotná is a Czech based dancer, choreographer and lecturer. As part of the event she will present  Gaga/people class which is a movement language developed by choreographer Ohad Naharin/IL. Gaga offers a framework for users to connect to their bodies and imaginations, experience physical sensations, improve their flexibility and stamina, exercise their agility and explosive power, and enjoy the pleasure of movement in a welcoming, accepting atmosphere. Classes are suitable for anyone, regardless of their background in dance or movement. No previous dance experience is needed. (wear comfortable clothes, barefoot or socks)



prof. Dolores Britvić, phd, psychiatrist, head of Department for Social Psychiatry, head of Regional center for Psychotrauma, University Hospital Split, president of Croatian Institut for Group Analysis. 

I spend many years in research different modalities for treatment of psychotraumatized persons and established some models. I am supervisor and educator in group psychotherapy. 

Aster Tooma has studied social pedagogy and psychosocial rehabilitation.
She has been working as a support person, teacher and rehabilitation specialist of children and adults with special needs since 1998 .For the past 14 years she has been a service quality manager in Hoolekandeteenused Ltd and has been in the company a leader of recovery-oriented way of thinking and a trainer of the CARe methodology. She has extensive experience in managing change and implementing the deinstitutionalization process in the field of mental health in Estonia.( Hoolekandeteenused Ltd. is an Estonian state owned company whose mission is to close down large special care homes and create new, modern, person-centered services in the community in order to support the recovery of people with mental health difficulties and equal opportunities for a more active life.

Aster is  interested in using the potential of creative therapies, particularly movement and dance therapy to initiate positive change, support recovery and  inclusion.  She is a member of CARe Network and a trainer of CARe Estonia, also Masterś student in Art Therapy at Tallinn University. 


Aigul Alikanova is a Psychologist, trainer, with 8-year experience in mental health counseling. Since 2019, after graduation from CARe program she has worked with the Recovery Center as a mental health counselor. As a Recovery team member she was involved in providing psychological counseling for the population during the pandemic, during Tadjik-Kyrgyz conflicts in the South of Kyrgyzstan. MA in Applied Psychology.

Lilit Baghdasaryan, Candidate of Psychological Sciences,

Member of the Board of the Armenian Psychiatric Association,

Coordinator of the psychological service of the Psychosocial Recovery center, Head of the Recovery College in Armenia,

President of the “AMBRA” Mental Well-being Center NGO

Associate Professor, Department of Personality Psychology, Yerevan State University.

Narine Khachatryan is a head of the chair of Personality Psychology at Yerevan State University since 2011 and is the director of the MA program in Personality and Conuseling psychology. Narine’s research interests are in the areas of personality and culture, self and social identity, personality and mental-well-being. She has taught courses on methodology of personality psychology, counselling psychology, psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery. She also works as a practicing psychologist, providing counselling for individuals and psychoeducation for organizations.

Mykola Khomitskiy MD, Ph.D., Sc.D., Associate professor of the Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, General and Medical Psychology Narcology and Sexology, Zaporizhzhia State Medical University.

he is a psychiatrist with over 20 years of experience in treating psychotic patients. His scientific work is devoted to the issues of diagnosis, treatment and social rehabilitation of patients suffering from schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.

Practical information

The conference is free of charge, but you have to take care of your own travel and accommodation.


If you would like to come, but the costs for your travel are higher than you can afford, please let us know. We will try to help. You can write to Pavel Říčan, coordinator of The CARe Network:

Follow us for further information.



In order to support the participation of professionals and service users from Eastern European and Central-Asian countries, we welcome donations:

The CARe Network

ING Bank Netherlands

IBAN: NL76INGB0000555432 


In partnership with:




Association for promoting mental health PHOENIX  SPLIT is non profit organization providing  psycho-social support to people with  mental health challenges in Split (Croatia),  is founded and led by people with such challenges and is co-hosting the CARe Network events in Split.



Association for psychosocial assistance SUSRET is providing community based housing and support for people with psychosocial challenges in Zagreb (Croatia), is a member of the CARe Network and co-hosting the CARe Network events in Split.

CARe Network very much appreciates generous support of the Bar Association of Split-Dalmatia County ( ) which provided premises where the conference will take place.

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