Countries in Central Asia have cultural specificities and conditions under which provision of mental health care differs from that in other parts of the world. Yet, until now, educational materials used in postgraduate education in those countries did not reflect these features. It has therefore been decided to develop educational materials that would be based on local experience and at the same time present ways in which psychiatry is practiced in other countries.
After meetings held to review the current situation and needs relevant to psychiatry in Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Tajikistan and other Central Asian countries, it was decided to give priority to the improvement of communication between psychiatrists in those countries and between them and psychiatrists elsewhere. To do this and to facilitate collaboration in postgraduate training in psychiatry a series of case histories were produced and commented upon by psychiatrists from Central Asia and Europe. This led to the production of a Casebook in which experts from Central Asian countries describe cases of mental illness as they see them. Their diagnoses and recommendations concerning treatment are then listed together with opinions of experts from Russia as well as from Western European countries. The Casebook was published in Russian and English in 2008 and is being used as a teaching tool for postgraduate education in psychiatry.