who we are

BEMONI PUBLIC UNION (BPU) has been functioning since 1998 as a Georgian non-governmental, non-profit organization with affiliated private detoxification Clinic.

BPU brings together the talent and resources needed to be a leader in the addiction field. The organization has attracted a team of 19 employees who demonstrate their commitment to excellence.

BPU assists youth, school personnel, parents and other community members in preventing drug abuse/HIV/AIDS and promoting healthy lifestyles; Specific services centered on addiction and HIV/AIDS/STI risk-focused prevention are developed and provided based upon the needs of local IDU population; BPU works directly with local groups and individuals to mobilize communities around addiction and HIV/AIDS issues. Technical support is available for youth organizations, community groups and media professionals. The organization also provides trainings for service providers, community members, and educators throughout the country. BPU works on the policy/strategy advice and development issues in order to help community leaders and public officials discover more effective ways of dealing with drug problems. Our initiatives and programs are based on research findings.

BPU currently operates 4 Centers: the Counseling and Prevention Center for Addiction Problems, the Information and Training Center, the Mental Health and HIV-AIDS Expert-Centre and the Resource-Center for Substance Abuse and HIV/AIDS Prevention in Telavi – Bemoni Social Bureau.

What we do

BPU supports a variety of activities:

 Reduce the spread of drug addiction in Georgia through a set of preventive interventions;

 Develop and implement specific programs in the areas of prevention of alcohol and drug abuse and harm reduction;

 Develop and implement specific programs in the area of HIV/AIDS/STIs prevention;

 Strive for changing social attitudes towards drug use and it’s consequences;

 Promote conditions for healthy lifestyles;

 Develop media campaigns and health education activities;

Since establishment the organization has been rendered different types of hot-line and face-to-face counseling services to more than 16,000 beneficiaries. Almost 2,000 participants attended trainings and workshops conducted by BPU staff on various topics.

The Counseling and Prevention Center for Addiction Problems

The Counseling and Prevention Center for Addiction Problems was established in 1999 within the framework of the project “Pilot Model of Prevention of Drug Addiction in Georgia”, with financial support of the European Commission. The Center provides long-term, continuous prevention and intervention services to youth and their caregivers, current drug users and their family members.

The objectives of the center are:

 To develop and implement prevention programs that will have a positive impact on the problems faced by individuals, families, institutions, and communities;

 To promote the development of skills of those people who are in direct contact with the high-risk groups or potential users;

 To provide counseling and advise to the risk group and their social network, to youth and families in need;

 To provide direct prevention and early intervention services:

a. professional counseling in individual and family setting;

b. Voluntary counseling and testing;

c. Telephone referral and information;

 To provide direct services of those who come from families where substance abuse is the problem.

The Center organizes a wide-range of activities and focuses on the following main areas:

 Prevent education, among young people and those adults who influence them.

 Provide information, advice and professional counseling to drug users.

 Provide information, advice and professional counseling for the family members of drug users.

 Provide HIV/STI Hepatitis B, C risk-reduction education and counseling for IDUs and their sex partners.

The Information and Training Center

The Information and Training Center was established in 2005 within the framework of STI/HIV Prevention Project funded by USAID. The goal of the Center is to promote the development of healthy society. The Center provides information and training services to children and youth; persons who influence children and youth; injecting drug users and their family members; medical health care providers; psychologists; social workers; representatives of organizations (including mass media) working in the field of drug addiction and AIDS.

Objectives:

 To search, adopt and develop safe behavior and healthy lifestyle supportive methodology (creation of the theoretical basics)

 To establish sustainable information and training services (putting methods into practice)

 To create a network of persons holding the same views and support exchanges of information and experience (establishment of a club)

 To ensure the sustainability of the Center

The Center carries out the following activities:

 Create effective prevention methodologies on drug abuse and AIDS issues

 Provide information about Center activities to the potential beneficiaries.

 Organize and conduct trainings

 Establish and operate a Club of persons holding the same views.

Trainings

BPU offers the following trainings:

 “Substance abuse and HIV prevention among youth” – for school medical personnel, teachers, school psychologists, parents, service providers, NGO representatives;

 “Development of school drug policy”

 “Life skills training”;

 “Peer education among youth”

 “HIV prevention among high risk groups”;

 “Psychosocial assistance of women and children affected by family members’ drug abuse”

 “Codependency issues”

 “HIV peer education among MARP”

 “IEC materials development”

 “BCC strategy”

 “How to cover HIV and Drug use related issues” – for journalists

 “BSS from start to finish”

 “HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B, C risk reduction counseling among IDUs”

 “Motivational interviewing”

 “HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination” – for medical authorities, health care providers, service providers, and journalists

 “Mental health and HIV/AIDS”

 Training of trainers;

 NGO technical capacity development;

 NGO organizational capacity development;

Mental Health and HIV/AIDS Expert Centre

The Expert Centre on HIV/AIDS and Mental Health was established in 2005 as part of a project implemented by the Global Initiative on Psychiatry. The goal of the centre is to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV/AIDS in Georgia, focusing on interaction of HIV/AIDS and mental health problems.

The principal goals of the Center include:

 To expand and strengthen the capacity of community-based entities to provide culturally appropriate/competent mental health services targeted to people living with HIV/AIDS and their environment;

 To enhance collaboration between HIV and mental health workers at all levels;

 To improve ability of mental health providers to make referrals to both mental health and HIV/AIDS services, and to substance abuse treatment when necessary and,

 To develop culturally appropriate HIV/AIDS education and counseling methodologies.

The Center organizes a wide-range of activities:

 Identify the needs and constraints of the target group(s);

 Create and maintain the collaborative networks;

 Provide training sessions to mental health care professionals, primary health care practitioners and other service providers;

 Carry out follow-up training and continuing technical assistance of service providers to provide them with the information, awareness, sensitivity, and strategies;

 Provide information, counseling and referral services.

The center’s multidisciplinary team comprises people with a range of professional experiences and skills, including psychologists, social workers, researchers and medical doctors with specialist knowledge in HIV/AIDS and mental health.

Bemoni Clinic

Bemoni Clinic is private institution dedicated to the prevention intervention and treatment of addictive behaviors and disorders. It has been functioning since 1993 and offers anonymous inpatient and outpatient medical and psychological aid to drug and alcohol abusers. Our treatment and early rehabilitation program includes assessments, extensive counseling, detoxification, individual and family psychotherapy, relapse prevention, continuum care, and education on addiction and recovery.

Because no single treatment approach is effective for all persons, Clinic provides treatment modalities depending on clinical and micro social factors, evaluates treatment effectiveness, and uses evaluation results to enhance treatment and recovery approaches.

Our staff consists of medical doctors, psychologists, social workers and nurses and has expertise in the prevention and treatment of addictions and brings with them a wide variety of professional, personal, and academic backgrounds.

Approximately 400 clients and patients receive the clinic’s counseling and treatment services per year.