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Global Health
February 20, 2013

Post-Soviet Reform of Mental Health Services

JAMA. 2013;309(7):649. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.1020

Insights from the ongoing reform of mental health services in the former Soviet state of Georgia illustrate the challenges in these endeavors and can help guide other countries attempting similar reforms, report researchers from Georgia and Lithuania (Makhashvilli N and van Voren R. PLoS Med. 2012;10[1]:e1001366).

A civil war, lack of funding, and other obstacles have slowed efforts to transform Georgia's mental health care system from the old Soviet structure into a more humane system. Until recently, many patients with mental health issues were warehoused in poorly run institutions, where many were left to die.