Indonesian NGO and government partnerships for mental health

May 22, 2011

In May 2011, key members of the only Indonesian carer and consumer group, The Indonesian Mental Health Association (known as Perhimpunan Jiwa Sehat – PJS), visited Melbourne. Travelling with representatives from the Social Affairs Ministry, this group visited Clarendon Community Clinic, Footbridge Continuing Care Unit and the Acute Inpatient Unit and met with colleagues from St. Vincent’s Mental Health.

The group were invited to visit Melbourne by MIND and participated in Hearing Voices – a 4 day workshop on theory and practice of working with and talking to voices.  This visit has planted a vision for a Government and NGO partnership in mental health.  This kind of collaboration has the potential to enhance National and State Government Mental Health Plans, due to be completed in 2012 and for a concentrated, mutual effort to develop community services by maximising social welfare and NGO resources.

The delegation included Ms. Yeni Rosa Damayanti, carer and chair person of IMHA with Mr. Esa Sumatri, the Head of Sub-Directorate of Social and Rehabilitation Services for People with Mental Illness, Ms. Eni Nuryani, head of sub-directorate of social welfare maintenance and assistance, ministry of social affair, Jakarta, Ms. Retno, the head of Phalamarta Shelter, Rhino Ariefiansyah, Consumer Consultant, Ms. Wydia Lolita, Psychiatric nurse,  and  Mr. La Tatong, the head of Budi Luhur social rehabilitation shelter for people with mental illness, Banjar Baru, South Kalimanatan.

In Indonesia, it is important to note that mental health is the responsibility of both the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Affairs.  AAMH Program Manager Mr. David Paroissien said that “it was extremely positive that representatives from the Ministry of Social Affairs felt it was important to come to Melbourne with Perhimpunan Jiwa Sehat to further develop their understanding of community mental health service delivery. In particular, it was important that the government representatives saw with their own eyes what is possible in community mental health services, and that it is worth pursuing for Indonesia.”