Dementia Lithuania has started a mental health support group for family carers of people living with dementia. The piloted initiative, implemented in partnership with the National Mental Health Centre in Lithuania, is the first step towards developing support services for the families who take care of their loved ones at home. Officially, there are around 40,000 people living with dementia in Lithuania.
While the majority of them live at home, the support services in communities for people living with dementia, as well as support for the carers, are still being developed. Dementia Lithuania is piloting the peer-support programme as a part of a range of services advocating that mental health support should be available and accessible across the country for everyone who needs it. The peer support group programme is run remotely and is open for people from all over the country. The association coordinates the participation in these support groups, as well as providing training to use remote meeting tools. The pilot consists of three groups, moderated by mental health professionals.
The pilot will enable the creation of a service which could later reach more people in need. After its launch, registration for the people living with dementia and their carers in this pilot programme is being kept open in order to gauge the demand. The second launch of the groups will start shortly after the pilot ends. The peer support programme is part of the initiative “Towards a dementia strategy: situation analysis and public awareness”, implemented by the association Dementia Lithuania and the NGO Socialiniai meno projektai, and is supported by the Active Citizens Fund.