Discovering Opportunity Beyond Illness in Kazakhstan
With an estimated 200,000 registered in the country as afflicted with chronic psychiatric illness, Kazakhstan has a significant population that has suffered under punitive models of psychiatric care inherited from the Soviet era. Psychiatric professionals and advocates are battling the ward-to-grave pipeline and wasted human potential through new efforts to provide visibility for a community that often languishes behind walls in the Central Asian country. In addition to political and medical reforms, work initiatives have given birth to opportunity through businesses like the Training Café, a restaurant in Almaty that employs people with learning disabilities and other mental illnesses. EurasiaNet profiles ongoing efforts to de-institutionalize and integrate Kazakhstanis with mental illness into productive society.
“Kazakhstan: Cafe Dispels Disability Stereotypes” (EurasiaNet)
“Kazakhstan to eliminate discrimation against disabled persons” (Tengrinews, March 2015)
“Business Centre for Disabled Opens in East Kazakhstan” (The Astana Times, June 2015)
(Image Credit: Joanna Lillis/EurasiaNet)