Arunas Germanavicius has worked on numerous research projects since graduating from the University of Vilnius’ Faculty of Medicine with cum laude in 1994. He was the co-investigator of Lithuanian research team led by Prof. Dainius Puras project on the “Evaluation of National Mental health policy in Lithuania”; coordinator of EU Framework 6 project EMILIA in Lithuania on “Empowerment of Mental Health Care Users Through Life Long Learning, Education and Action” led by Prof. P.Ryan; DG SANCO projects POMONA-2 on “Health Indicators of People with Mental Disabilities” led by prof. P.N.Walsh; HELPS („European Network for promoting health of residents in psychiatric and social care institutions“) led by prof. T.Becker and R.Kilian; ITHACA („Institutional Treatment, Human Rights and Care Assessment“) led by prof.G.Thornicroft; and ASPEN led by G.Thornicroft.
His main research interests focus on the development and evaluation of community-based services for people with severe mental illness. Within last 10 years, Arunas Germanavicius has worked on numerous regional projects in Central and Eastern European regional projects (collaborating, for example, with the “Global Initiative on Psychiatry” in Hilversum, and the „Mental Disability Advocacy Centre“ in Budapest) to assess human rights in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Kaliningrad (Russia). Arunas was also the research coordinator of the international research project “Evaluation of Stigma and Discrimination of People With Schizophrenia (INDIGO)” led by Prof. G.Thornicroft and prof. N.Sartorius (London Institute of Psychiatry).
In 2001, Arunas co-founded the first community based centre for psychosocial rehabilitation in Vilnius (Lithuania), which currently serves as a centre of excellence for community care and psychosocial rehabilitation development in Lithuania and neighbouring countries.
He has also published more than 30 articles in international and Lithuanian scientific journals, and authored 3 textbooks on community psychiatry, psychosocial rehabilitation and public mental health in Lithuanian. Arunas has also spoken at numerous international conferences in Europe and Asia, and has consulted various international organisations on mental health issues. Arunas is current also the president of the “Lithuanian Association of Psychosocial rehabilitation” and an Executive Board member of ENMESH (European Network for Mental Health Service Evaluation).
This lecture offers an analysis of the development of Lithuania’s psychiatric services between gaining its independence in 1918 and the Soviet occupation of 1940. Psychiatric services in Czarist Russian territories belonging to Lithuania had been underdeveloped, and in 1903 the only major regional psychiatric hospital was in Naujoji Vilnia (Vileika), a suburb of Vilnius. But its role eroded during the First World War when it served as military base.
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