A blind spot on the global mental health map: Central and Eastern Europe
A central aim of the Global Mental Health movement is to highlight gaps in mental health service provision worldwide, and to galvanise action to address mental health issues where these have been neglected.
Most research in Global Mental Health focuses on the global South, where typically resources for mental health care are scarce and mental health is low on the public agenda. This paper argues that to date the Global Mental Health community has overlooked an important region of the global North, however, where attention is urgently needed.
Central and Eastern Europe has the highest proportion of disease burden due to mental and substance use disorders in the world, the highest rates of suicide worldwide, and extremely high levels of alcohol consumption. Despite this, there are stark contrasts between the state of mental health services in these countries as compared to their EU neighbours, which spend on average 15 times more on mental health care provision.
Here we chat with Arlinda Cerga-Pashoja and Tessa Roberts, two authors on a recent Lancet scoping review addressing these issues.