Indonesia finalizes draft of mental health law

Posted on July 7, 2014

A lawmaker from the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), Wirianingsih, said that the law, which is sponsored by the House, would help the central government and local administrations to prioritize programs and funding related to mental illness.

In Indonesia, people with mental illnesses often fall victim to inhumane treatment. They are caged in small cells behind houses, chained to beds, stoned by neighborhood children, hidden by families and, in some cases, their feet are clamped between stocks to prevent them from moving freely.

"The central government and local administrations should provide and distribute more medical workers in the regions. It is also important to prohibit people from practicing pasung [traditional practice of shackling or restraining] on patients," she said on Monday, as quoted by Vivanews portal.

Hang Ali Saputra Ayah Pahan from the National Mandate Party (PAN) said that better infrastructure in the form of more hospitals and doctors capable of treating patients with mental health problems would help reduce cases of mental illness.

"From 700 hospitals in Indonesia, only 97 public hospitals have the capacity to treat the mentally ill while only 900 from a total of 1,235 community health centers [Puskesmas] provide such treatment," he said.

Category(s):Mental Health in Asia

Source material from Jarkarta Post

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