Enormous sociopolitical changes in Eastern Europe in the last decade have had a profound impact on the psychological functioning of the citizens of these nations. In order to assess and intervene in the mental health realm in Eastern Europe, a brief survey was sent to various Christian leaders in Eastern Europe. Common mental health problems identified across the various Eastern European countries and cultures include depression, relationship difficulties, alcohol abuse, and anxiety disorders. Christians in Eastern Europe tend to turn to family and friends for help with these problems first, pastors second, and almost never to mental health professionals. Clergy and laypersons have little training in mental health issues. A promising direction for future service is training those who can, in turn, train Eastern European laypersons in basic listening and support skills. Cultural awareness and sensitivity will be of paramount importance in such an endeavor.
Ellens, Brent M.; McMinn, Mark R.; Lake, Linda L.; Hardy, Matthew M.; and Hayen, Elizabeth J., "A Preliminary Assessment of Mental Health Needs Faced in Religious Leaders in Eastern Europe" (2000). Faculty Publications - Grad School of Clinical Psychology. 190.