The Guardian Features Pioneering Osijek Mental Health Institution

Total Croatia News

November 19, 2017 – Mental health issues in Croatia rarely make the headlines, certainly in a positive context. An uplifting story in today’s Observer newspaper on The Guardian website, about a pioneering approach of integration in eastern Croatia. 

All over Croatia, individuals with inspiring stories and vision are making a difference in their communities. A wonderful story in the British media this morning on how the oldest asylum in the Balkans has been transformed, new hope and opportunity given to its former residents.

“High walls still surround the oldest asylum in the Balkans, an 18th-century building pocked with the artillery scars of last century’s civil war, but the gates are no longer locked. Handles have been replaced on internal doors and bars removed from windows.

“The jail,” said Darko Kovaoic, a 53-year-old poet with schizophrenia who lives here, “has broken open.”

“The institution in Osijek, eastern Croatia, is run by Ladislav Lamza, a former social worker who is taking on the government, the health minister, and his own staff to transform the lives of his “beneficiaries” – the patients of what was until recently an old-style asylum.

“It was in May 2015 that Lamza ripped down the sign outside – replacing “Home for the Insane” with “Centre for People Like Us” and began moving people out.”

Read the full story on The Guardian website here.


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