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The mental health services in Uzbekistan are still in the process of developing as Uzbekistan is known to be a low-income group country, based on the World Bank 2004 criteria. Private organizations and services can only be found in the capital city with very little institutes available. However, the presence of psychiatric services is more prominent compared to counsellors. Guidance counselling is much easier to find than private and governmental counselling services in Uzbekistan. In 2000, the Uzbek parliament added a law “on psychiatric care for the population” (WHO, 2007, p.8). Mental health services were declared to be a priority as it was a crucial step in strengthening mental health law and development subsequent to the publication of “methodological recommendations for medical staff on application legislation for psychiatric care” (WHO, 2007, p.8).
Three percent of the health care expenditures by the government health department are directed towards mental health. However, 89% of that money is directed toward mental hospitals (WHO, 2007). In major cases, mental health services are mostly focused on psychiatric resources and mental hospitals. The Uzbek Ministry of Health and parliament took mental health issues very seriously in which, subsequently, every year they would hold a conference to assess psychiatric services. This includes discussing problems and development plans for new mental health approaches that can be done.
There are a number of guidance counsellors assisting students as listed, including for expats in regards to advising moving into the country. Private clinics are also presented for counselling and psychological services.
- Private organizations
The amount of counselling figures could not be fully identified as the country has a very low number of counsellors in tackling mental health issues among citizens in Uzbekistan. However, Uzbekistan has equipped counsellors in schools and universities to further assist students.
For a deeper exploration of the counselling profession in the country, interested readers are recommended to read the following journal & website articles: