Data from the Indonesian Ministry of Health in 2018 indicates that at least 1 in 16 people aged 15 and older have been diagnosed with depression.
If this condition continues to be neglected, it is feared that it will lead to more significant mental health problems. Unfortunately, awareness of this issue still needs to be promoted to instill the understanding that everyone deserves psychological care.
“In our new law, Law No. 17 of 2023, mental health is now defined as part of health. Efforts to achieve optimal mental health must be made through promotion, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation, whether by the government, local administrations, or the community,” said Lucia from the Ministry of Health during the “Literacy on Mental Health, Psychological First Aid, and Family Resilience” course launching event on Monday, October 10.
“We will be facing a demographic bonus in 2035, and 70% of the total population will be of working age. Therefore, it is expected that the people here will be a productive community, where one way to be productive is by maintaining mental health.”
Ironically, mental disorders rank seventh among children, teenagers, and people of productive ages. Moreover, suicide cases were reported as many as 826 in 2022, an increase compared to the previous year.
“The prevalence of severe mental disorders, in this case, schizophrenia, reached 0.18%, about 495,000 people. Now, from the data, there is another issue, namely the increasing treatment gap. WHO states that in low- and middle-income countries, 75% of the population does not receive therapy,” Lucia added.
“In Indonesia, 51% of schizophrenia patients do not receive regular treatment. Even though schizophrenia is a chronic disease that requires long-term treatment.”
Efforts to support mental health awareness primarily focus on prevention and promotion. Couples intending to have children are highly encouraged to undergo counseling first, either for their mental health or to impart the importance of mental health to their children.
Furthermore, mental health care continues to be provided intensively during the first 1,000 days of life, up to the toddler stage. This strategy is expected to help children grow physically and mentally healthy and minimize the onset of mental disorders as they mature into adults.
According to the UGM Center for Public Mental Health Chair, Dr. Diana Setyawati, mental disorders greatly depend on each individual’s vulnerability.
“If the same stress is applied to two people, one may experience depression, while the other may not. It depends on how vulnerable someone is when they are under stress. Vulnerability can be formed during the prenatal stage and the first five years of life,” Dr. Setyawati explained.
This indicates that parents are crucial in providing early mental health guidance.
“Here, we can see that families have a significant role. Various studies have indicated that the key to a responsible family is a family with commitment, the ability to spend time together, and positive and appreciative communication,” Dr. Setyawati added.
“Children and family members growing up in such families will develop good spiritual well-being.”