On the 11th and 12th of September 2012, the “Promoting Mental Health: Working with Community” conference was held in Bali, Indonesia. Mental health leaders from 18 countries in the Asia Pacific region convened in Bali to discuss and share ‘best practice’ examples of community mental health promotion.
Indonesia Conference 2012
The meeting included 50 leaders in mental health from across Indonesia, and 50 Balinese mental health leaders. The conference was proudly co-hosted by Asia Australia Mental Health, the Ministry of Health Indonesia and Bali Mental Hospital.
The conference included country presentations, workshops, as well as site visits to key mental health services in Bali.
18 diverse models for promoting mental health in the community were presented. These ranged from education programs run in schools in Indonesia; the integration of mental health into primary health services in the Philippines; programs to target high suicide rates in the elderly in Korea; empowering non-psychiatrists in Singapore; and e-health initiatives developed by the Australian government.
For the first time, Myanmar participated in the network with Prof. Win Aung Myint and Dr. Zaw Sein Lwin presenting an outstanding model of community mental health in a small city outside of Yangon. The community mental health program included a focus on advocacy meetings, training programs, weekly households visits, weekly specialist mental health clinics at the primary health centre, and a monitoring and evaluation program.
Professor Chee Ng, Co-Director of AAMH, said “there is a pressing need in the Asia Pacific to translate mental health policy into best practice sustainable and culturally appropriate models of care at the local level. Solutions to increase the accessibility of mental health service beyond mental hospitals are being sought through creative partnerships with existing community resources.”
Professor Das, Director of the National Institute for Health and Family Welfare India stressed the value of the network in a workshop session at the September meeting:
“In our countries we need to work with many population groups with which we may not be familiar, such as the mental health needs of today’s kids going to school” he said.
“Without my colleagues (in the AAMH network) it would have been hard to find solutions”
“Collective involvement in decision-making certainly improves decisions,” Prof. Das concluded.