Understanding Mental Health

Global and Indonesian Mental Health

On this page

Global Mental Health

Mental health issues occur all around the world. The World Health Organisation and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation report:

  • Over 1.1 billion people suffer from mental or substance use disorders, worldwide.
  • Approximately 20% of children and adolescents struggle with mental health issues.
  • 50% of mental disorders appear prior to age 14. 
  • Mental and substance use disorders are the leading cause of disability worldwide. 
  • Every year, over 800,000 people commit suicide.

Challenges Associated with Global Mental Health

Several challenges can serve as barriers to providing appropriate care for these individuals. These can include:

  • Unavailability of mental health care provision in low and middle-income countries
  • Misunderstandings and stigma surrounding mental illness such as:
    - Belief that mental health issues are untreatable and those who suffer from them are difficult, unintelligent, incapable and inferior.
    - Those who require psychological assistance are discouraged from seeking help due to abuse, rejection and isolation.
    - Mistreatment and discrimination of those with mental disorders within the healthcare system

Mental Health in Indonesia 

Prevalence of Mental Health Issues

According to the 2013 Indonesian national health research (RISKESDAS): 

  • Approximately 3.7% (9 million) people are suffering from depression, out of a population of 250 million people.
  • Around 6% (14 million) people aged 15 and over suffer from mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. 
  • Around 1.7 per 1000 people suffer from a chronic psychological disorder, such as schizophrenia.

Mental Health Care in Indonesia

There are only 600-800 psychiatrists in the whole of Indonesia (Indonesian Ministry of Health). This leaves a ratio of 0.01 psychiatrists per 100,000 people (WHO, 2014).

To improve mental health in Indonesia:

  • Collaboration between various sectors is crucial, as mental health is a result of an interaction between psychological, social and biological factors. 
  • Strategies that incorporate promotion, prevention, cure and rehabilitation should be emphasised.
  • Mental health organisations, the government and the general public must work together to create change.

World Health Organization. (2014, 08). Mental Health: a state of well-being . Retrieved from World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/mental_health/en/

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). (2016). Global Burden of Disease Study 2017.Seattle: Global Burden of Disease Collaborative Network.


Ayuningtyas, D., Misnaniarti, & Rayhani, M. (2018). ANALISIS SITUASI KESEHATAN MENTAL PADA MASYARAKAT DI INDONESIA DAN STRATEGI PENANGGULANGANNYA. Jurnal Ilmu Kesehatan Masyarakyat, 9(1), 1-10.

Irmansyah, I., Prasetyo, Y., & Minas, H. (2009). Human rights of persons with mental illness in Indonesia: more than legislation is needed. International Journal Of Mental Health Systems, 3(1), 14. doi: 10.1186/1752-4458-3-14

Jones, S. (2018). 'Living in hell': mentally ill people in Indonesia chained and confined. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/mar/21/living-in-hell-indonesia-mentally-ill-people-chained-confined-human-rights-watch-report

Lu, Y. (2010). Mental health and risk behaviours of rural–urban migrants: Longitudinal evidence from Indonesia. Population Studies, 64(2), 147-163. doi: 10.1080/00324721003734100

Saragih Turnip, S., Sörbom, D., & Hauff, E. (2015). Predicting positive mental health in internally displaced persons in Indonesia: the roles of economic improvement and exposure to violent conflict. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 21(3), 286-294. doi: 10.1080/13548506.2015.1051554

Back to top