Consumer Associations, Patient Advocates, and the Future of Mental Health Care in Indonesia

Agus Sugianto, patient advocate; Deakin University

In Indonesia, mental illness is severely stigmatized as mental illness is commonly attributed to lack of faith and sinfulness. Over 90% of individuals with mental illness are unable to access mental health service. Indonesia’s low mental health literacy, the high numbers of individuals in pasung, and the stigma associated with mental illness sparked consumers of mental health care in Indonesia to establish support groups. The first one was KPSI (Indonesian Community Care for Schizophrenia) in 2008, followed by Bipolar Care Indonesia in 2013, Into the Light (suicide prevention) 2013, and many others. These groups provide support and care to individuals with mental illness and their carers.

As pasung survivor and patient advocate, I would like to represent the voice of indviduals who are chained because of mental illness. I see it as my task to support individuals with mental illness and spread awareness about the nature of mental illness among physicians and the general public. There should be more public health education, more funding for mental health, and collaboration among stakeholders and the community.


Biography: To come

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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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