Mental Health in Indonesia

This is a recording of panel discussion which was held on 14th October 2021, presented by the ANU Indonesia Institute.

Mental illness has historically dwelt in the shadows of the global health and development agenda and only recently has moved from the margins to become a central priority in research and policy. Mental disorders account for 30% of the worldwide non-fatal disease burden and 10% of the overall disease burden, including death and disability, and the cost to the global economy is estimated to be as high as USD 6 trillion by 2030 (Marquez & Saxena, 2016).

Large middle- and low-income countries like Indonesia struggle with a plethora of challenges in delivering adequate mental health care to its 270.2 million citizens. Centralised funding for Indonesian mental health is only 1% of the national health budget; health expenditure is around 3% of GDP.

National health programming such as Indonesia Sehat, the incorporation of mental health into primary care basic standards and voluntary contributions from provincial budgets does provide some additional resources. However, there is a severe shortage of mental health personnel, treatment and care facilities, especially outside the island of Java (Pols, 2020).

A panel of experts from Indonesia, the UK and Australia addresses various aspects of this challenging context from their diverse positions.


  • Dr Nova Riyanti Yusuf is a psychiatrist, legislator (member of the DPR from 2009-14 and 2018-19), novelist, scholar, tv personality and activist, was one of the driving forces behind the 2014 mental health law.
    • Professor Hans Pols is a renowned psychiatrist, historian and expert on Indonesian mental health based at UniSyd.
    • Anto Sg is a Pasung survivor and recipient of an Australia Award. He has completed a Masters in Health Promotion at Deakin University.
    • Dr Erminia Colucci is currently based at Department of Psychology, Middlesex University, UK and Center for Public Mental Health (CPMH), Psychology at the University of Gadjah Mada
    • Ade Prastyani is a GP and scholar, at the Center for Public Mental Health (CPMH) and researcher on the project will then talk about their findings for Indonesia.
    • Dr Diana Setiyawati is the director of the Center for Public Mental Health at the Faculty of Psychology, Universitas Gadjah Mada
    • Chair: Aliza Hunt Centre for Mental Health Research PhD Candidate and Endeavour Scholar at the ANU.

A recording of this event is available on the ANU TV channel on Youtube

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