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Kosovar Family Professional Education Collaborative

In May 2000, the Kosovar Professional Education Collaborative (KFPEC) was founded by Dr. Ferid Agani of the University of Prishtina, Dr. John Rolland of the University of Chicago, and Dr. Stevan Weine (Rolland & Weine, 2000). The KFPEC aimed to support and enhance the family work of Kosovar mental health professionals and to design and implement family oriented mental health services in Kosovo. The KFPEC chose to build family services centered on a psychoeducational multiple-family group program for severe mental illness. The KFPEC’s work was at the core of the mental health policy of the Ministry of Health and its seven regionally based community mental health centers. The objective of one study was to describe the effects of a psychoeducational multiple-family group program for families of people with severe mental illness in post-war Kosovo (Weine et al, 2005). The subjects were 30 families of people with severe mental illnesses living in two cities in Kosovo. All subjects participated in multiple-family groups and received home visits. The program documented medication compliance, number of psychiatric hospitalizations, family mental health services use, and several other characteristics, for the year prior to the groups and the first year of the groups. The families attended an average of 5.5 (out of 7) meetings, and 93% of these families attended four or more meetings. Comparing the year of the group intervention with the year prior to the intervention, there were multiple significant changes including: decreased hospitalization (p < .0001); increased medication compliance (p < .0001); increased use of combined oral and depot medications (p < .0003); increased family members’ use of mental health services (p < .0143). We also conducted ethnographic interviewing and observations with Kosovar and international providers and policymakers (Cintron & Weine, 2004; Weine, Agani & Cintron, 2003; Weine et al, 2003) and with Kosovar adolescents, family members, and community members regarding HIV/AIDS (Weine et al, 2004). The KFPEC program also provided training for mental health professionals, led to policy change in the Ministry of Health and resulted in successful dissemination of the multiple-family group program to five other community mental health centers. In addition, KFPEC has a many year track record in providing contextually sensitive and culturally competent expert training and consultation on building family resilience based mental health services in Kosovo. 

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