Spirits in turmoil in the former East bloc

Mental Health in Central and Eastern Europe (amazon.com)

Eight years ago, the Berlin Wall fell, and one by one the Communist regimes in the former East Bloc collapsed. Freedom was initially welcomed, but it has come at a great cost: massive unemployment, extreme poverty and growing numbers of people who are having trouble coping with the stress of daily existence.

The entire region is witnessing a staggering rise in depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, suicide and domestic violence. Mental health services in the region are unprepared to deal with the growing numbers of people in need of help and treatment. The entire mental health sector is trying to implement major reforms despite a severe lack of funding. Eric Beauchemin looks at the traumatic transition in Romania and Bulgaria.

Producer: Eric Beauchemin

Broadcast: February 20, 1998