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Stop stigma toward mental illness: Health Ministry


Approaching the commemoration of World Mental Health Day on 10th October, the Health Ministry has urged the public to reduce its stigma against people with mental illness by treating them equally.

During a “health walk” event themed “Walk the Talk” held in Jakarta on Sunday, Tritarayati, an expert staffer with the Health Ministry, emphasized that the role of the family was crucial in providing psychological support for people with mental health problems.

“Psychological pressures can happen everywhere; in houses, schools or offices. Thus, public participation is needed because medical professionals are not always available at times of crisis,” she told the audience.

Indonesia Health Research (Riskesdas) in 2013 recorded that 6 percent of 14 million people aged 15 years or older showed symptoms of severe depression and anxiety.

The data also revealed that the prevalence of severe mental disorders (psychosis or schizophrenia) in Indonesia’s population was 1.7 per 1,000 people.

Fidiansjah, the Health Ministry’s director for the prevention and control of mental health and drug problems, encouraged people to talk and listen to people with mental illnesses without judging them.

“People with mental health problems should be given equal treatment as people with physical health problems. They should be given special attention by their family,” he said.

*source : The Jakarta Post

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