The Future of Mental Health Care in Indonesia: A Collaborative Project

Hans Pols

University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

For a population of over 260 million people, Indonesia has a mere 1,000 psychiatrists and an equal number of clinical psychologists. Funding for mental health care is around 1% of the health budget. Under these conditions, providing adequate mental health care is an enormous challenge.

As part of an ARC-funded research project on mental health care in Indonesia with Profs Byron Good and Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good (Harvard University), we interviewed over 400 Indonesian psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, other health personnel, and patient advocates. We asked them to tell us about successful initiatives in mental health which could be replicated elsewhere. We also organised a workshop in Yogyakarta to formulate ideas on the future of mental health care in Indonesia. The results were published in a 2-volume edited book, Jiwa Sehat, Negara Kuat in 2019 (an English version is in preparation). In this presentation, I will share some of the results of these discussions. I will specifically focus on the requirement of the new health insurance system (BPJS) to move mental health care to community mental health centres.

Biography: To come


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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