The current pandemic has opened new doors for giving to the greater good.

In the very beginnings of this global phenomenon, donations were first made in the form of masks, disinfectants, or cases of larger contributions, in the form of ventilators. However, enough time has passed for many benefactors to devise new ways to support the system in the continuous fight against the consequences of the Covid-19 virus.

Today, we present you with the latest examples of strategic thinking and the implementation of solutions that can be used in the long run.

The Serbian Philanthropic Forum and the B92 Fund recently launched an interactive platform to prevent and combat the virus. There is also the application of the Mental Health Network "Naum", which supports mental health.

You can read a detailed insight into the new digital solutions in the fight against the pandemic below.

Covid-19 Potrebe Platform: Locations where there is a need for medical and other equipment and resources to prevent and combat the Covid-19 pandemic is a unique database of needs and information related to the Covid-19 pandemic. This informative and interactive web platform enables faster and more efficient response and resolution of urgent problems caused by the current pandemic and other possible disasters in regular conditions.

The platform was launched by the Serbian Philanthropic Forum and the B92 Fund and is intended for health and other institutions, local governments, civil society organizations, and all those looking for ways to alleviate the crisis caused by the pandemic. It is created so that, in addition to the needs related to the current pandemic, it can also show the requirements in ordinary, everyday conditions and in the situations of possible other disasters.

Since the beginning of the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Serbian Philanthropic Forum and the B92 Fund have been recognized as relevant mediators between the needs of health institutions and local organizations and donors. With the inclusion and activation of membership, but also the entire philanthropic community, the Serbian Philanthropic Forum and the B92 Fund have collected over RSD 200 million in cash and over RSD 10 million in goods since March 2020 to support the health system of the Republic of Serbia in the fight against Covid-19 pandemics. Significantly, this amount makes 10% of the total amount donated in Serbia since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

All experiences gained during the pandemic period indicated that there is a need for a single virtual space for information, in the form of a web platform that is a place for exchanging information and experiences, pandemic education, but most importantly, mediation, a kind of exchange of needs and projects concerning mitigation of the consequences caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Experiences in cooperation with members of the Serbian Philanthropic Forum, including foundations, corporate foundations, companies and civil society organizations, as well as in collaboration with the broader philanthropic community of Serbia, tell us that the existence of such an informative and interactive web platform would enable faster and more efficient responding to and resolving urgent problems caused by the current pandemic, on the one hand, and on the other hand would provide companies and donors with insight into the needs and thus affect the systemic character of investments.

Krug zdravlja app – practical and direct support to your mental health

The mental health network "Naum" has created a free application for mobile phones, Krug Zdravlja ("Circle of Health") within the project Svako može da pukne ("Anyone can break"), to provide additional support in maintaining mental health, which is especially important in the situation of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thanks to the "Anyone can break" project implemented by the NaUm mental health network with the ACT project, and the Government of Switzerland, the redesigned, improved version of the free mobile application Krug Zdravlja ("Circle of Health") is again available to all those who need psychological support.

Krug Zdravlja is a simple "tool" that helps people quickly and easily get professional psychological advice and support, educate, inform, improve their mental health, and seek and receive help for free. Through the Ask a psychologist option, you can entirely anonymously ask any question of a psychological nature and present the problem that is bothering you. Within 48 hours, you will receive an answer from a clinical psychologist - psychotherapist. In this way, you can help those who due to the nature of the problem can not seek help (agoraphobia - fear of a person leaving the house alone, traveling, etc., then social anxiety - a person has fear and discomfort to communicate with people), people who do not have access to professional help due to distance, as well as those who want to remain anonymous. Because people, especially young people, spend most of their time with a mobile phone in hand, why not use the phone as a "tool" for mental health?

Some of the options which the application contains are: Infobox - texts on the most common mental disorders and information on available support, Blog - texts of psychologists on various everyday topics and problems that bother us, Psychological tests - allow a person to check their mental state with professional and standardized tests, Recognizing symptoms, techniques for overcoming certain conditions, options Ask a psychologist, Video workshops - short workshops aimed at helping people solve some mental problems, information on where to turn for help, Calendar of events - announcement of various events we organize in within our project.

As the WHO warns, we are facing a pandemic of mental disorders due to the crisis we are facing, and according to the national research conducted within the CoV2Soul project, the number of people suffering from depression has doubled compared to the pre-pandemic period. That is why it is essential not to neglect our mental health and to use all possible resources to preserve it.

You can download the app for free on the Apple and Google Play Store. Follow all the information about the project "Anyone can break" on their Facebook and Instagram pages.

The "NaUm" network, the only mental health network in Serbia, was founded in 2015 in Belgrade within the project "PRO.ME.NE. - PROMOTION OF THE MENTAL HEALTH NETWORK ", financed by the European Union, and the project holder is Caritas Serbia. The network was formed with the aim of more efficient work on breaking the stigma and reducing discrimination. It consists of 12 associations from all over Serbia that work together to educate and inform the public about the importance of preserving mental health. In 2017, the "NaUm" network was promoted to the Network of Human Rights Defenders. More information about the network, goals, and values ​​can be found here.

This project received the support of the project of the Government of Switzerland, "Together for an active civil society - ACT", implemented by Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation and Civic Initiatives. The opinion expressed in this publication/article/study/paper is the author's opinion does not necessarily represent the opinion of the Government of Switzerland, Helvetas, or Civic Initiatives.

All of us can be a part of a great story of good deeds, even with sharing the news with goals for the common good. Therefore, please send this text to your friend or a family member who could benefit from one of the mentioned solutions recently available to all of us.