Group Information
Group Title:
Improving access to Mental Health Care in Asia
Group Description:

One out of five people in the world today experiences a mental disorder in any given year. Mental health issues can affect anyone, regardless of age, race and economic or social class, and most of us will be affected at some point in our lives, indirectly or directly. In many parts of the Asia-Pacific region, appropriate care may not be available and access to mental health care may be limited.  Women, who play a predominant role in caregiving both for the elderly and children and often head single-parent families, seem to have a higher and more persistent prevalence of depression and anxiety.  It is a problem with consequence for the future: 50% of mental illnesses begin at an early age. Moreover, the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has created an environment where many determinants of poor mental health are exacerbated. Mental health-related stigma and lack of inclusion of individuals with mental illness remain important areas of concern. This includes healthcare provider’s omission on mental illnesses as well as community awareness on mental health. Partly mental health care can be assessed by the supply of professionals and the availability of psychiatric beds in different settings. Another prerequisite for appropriate access to mental health care is the absorption of costs by public sector and healthcare providers. Clearly, mental health is a most relevant public health, economic and societal issue. 

Objectives of the workshop:
1. Build a comprehensive mapping of the main issues pertaining to Mental health in selected Asian countries. 2 Propose and initiate concrete solutions to tackle gaps in quality and access to care, leveraging all stakeholders’ resources and capacities, including possible partnerships between public and private players.
Specific questions addressed in the workshop:
  • 1. What are the demographics and main challenges: Describe the profile of people suffering from Mental Health issues in selected countries, classify and describe the main mental health issues, understand the cultural and social incumbents.
  • 2. Describe the status pinpointing the issues around: Availability of primary, secondary and tertiary mental care: Diagnostic will be the first key component. Quality and outcome measurement of mental care Affordability: cost and financing
  • 3 .Which possible solutions can i) be defined and ii) be built within the workshop aroundImprovement of availability of care Improvement of quality of care Improvement of QoL Fostering regional collaborations between medical, political and non-governmental stakeholders Improving funding looking at possible collaboration between states and private payers, e.g. Private Medical Insurance (PMI) providers
  • Targeted countries*: Thailand, Indonesia/ Philippine, Malaysia *Further research will allow the group to better define specific clusters of countries with similarity in terms of culture and health systems.
Expected output of the workshop:
  • 1. White paper: Recommendations to improve Access & Quality of care in the selected countries.
  • 2. Define a proof of concept to develop a sustainable platform that will allow i) to support the prevention and a better care system ii) provide an affordable insurance portfolio for the targeted populations
  • 3. Define evaluation criteria and timeline for the implementation of the proposed platform.
Working language of the workshop:
Co-chairs of the workshop:
  • Tbc
Scientific assistant:
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