While scientists are trying to establish the rates of mental health issues across all continents, they discovered that Indonesia ranks second in Asia as one of the worst countries in terms of mental illnesses.
After experts had conducted several surveys to find out more about this situation across the United States and Europe, they studied 15 countries throughout the Asia Pacific region.
Many efforts are being made to introduce new mental health regulations that will help these people improve their lifestyle.
The primary initiative supporting these policies is the Asia- Pacific Mental Health Integration Index sponsored by the Economist Intelligence Unit, and it is a program which monitors all actions taken by these countries to improve public mental health care among local communities.
Based on the latest reports, out of all 15 countries involved in this survey, Indonesia is placed on the 14th position, whereas Pakistan ranks 15th. According to Gareth Nicholson, managing editor for the EIU, “Indonesia fell into a band of lower-income countries – including India, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Pakistan.”
Other findings suggest that just ten percent of all citizens receive mental health care in Indonesia, whereas many others are not even diagnosed or they don’t have access to proper medical assistance.
This is a widely-spread problem across the country because compared to 250 million people, there are just 400 clinical psychologists and 800 psychiatrists. Worse, eight out of 34 provinces don’t have a mental healthcare facility, and although there are 9,500 medical centers across Indonesia, less than 2,000 provide proper mental health treatment.
Unfortunately, the government allocates just one percent for mental health care of the total health budget. According to Nova Riyanti Yusuf, a psychiatrist and co-author of the latest study, such poor funding makes it impossible for the country’s officials to introduce a reliable mental health program.
She further added that the leading cause why there is not enough funding, comes from the lack of data. Many citizens are unaware of the fact they might be suffering from a diagnosable mental health condition, or others simply cannot afford to pay for proper medical care.
That is why the government and other agencies must take active measures to address this issue and provide mental health treatment for all people living in Indonesia.