The foundation Global Initiative on Psychiatry – Tbilisi (GIP-Tbilisi) is a non-governmental, non-for-profit organisation that assists professional communities, NGOs, international agencies, governments, and other development institutions in the Caucasus and Central Asia to improve rights-based mental health care.


Global Initiative on Psychiatry believes that every person in the world should have the opportunity to realize his or her full potential as a human being, notwithstanding personal vulnerabilities or life circumstances.


The Global Initiative on Psychiatry considers its mission as to promote humane, ethical, and effective mental health services throughout the world and to support a global network of individuals and organizations to develop, advocate for, and carry out the necessary reforms.


The Foundation “Global Initiative in Psychiatry – Tbilisi” (GIF-Tbilisi) assists professional societies, NGOs and international organizations, governments and other developmental institutions in improving the human rights-based mental health care in the Caucasus and Central Asia.

The organization started its activities in May 2003, under the name of “Geneva Initiative on Psychiatry – Tbilisi”– as Regional Support Centre for Caucasus and Central Asia. In April 2005 the name of the organization has been changed to “Global Initiative on Psychiatry – Tbilisi” (GIP-Tbilisi). GIP-Tbilisi is a part of GIP network (GIP-Hilversum; GIP-Sofia and GIP-Vilnius). 

Robert van Voren

The founder

Prof. Robert van Voren (Johannes Bax) is a Chief Executive of the Human Rights in Mental Health-FGIP, a Sovietologist by education. A graduate of Amsterdam University, he obtained his PhD at the Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas (Lithuania) where he is Professor of Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies. He is also Professor of Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies at Ilia State University in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Starting in 1977, he became active in the Soviet human rights movement. In 1980, he co-founded the International Association on Political Use of Psychiatry and became its General Secretary in 1986.

Van Voren holds a number of positions on boards of organizations in the fields of human rights, mental health and prison reform. He is a Honorary Fellow of the British Royal College of Psychiatrists and Honorary Member of the Ukrainian Psychiatric Association. In 2005, he was knighted by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands for his work as a human rights activist.

Van Voren has written extensively on Soviet issues, the Second World War, and issues related to mental health and human rights. More than a dozen of his books have been published. 

In 2005 he founded the “Global Initiative on Psychiatry – Tbilisi” (GIP-Tbilisi).