Meaningful connections- individual conversations that lead to stronger health programs

September 12, 2018

A partnership between St. Vincent’s and Professor Dr. Soerojo hospitals, this project will pilot a new training approach, co-facilitated and contextualised, to increase primary sector engagement and improve treatment options in mental health service in Indonesia.

This is an exciting partnership funded by the Australia-Indonesia Institute and it connects people to people with a shared passion for public health approaches. For more details visit: (

Promoting a recovery approach to mental healthcare is part of Australia’s national mental health strategy.

“From the perspective of the individual with mental illness, recovery means gaining and retaining hope, understanding of ones abilities and disabilities, engagement in an active life, personal autonomy, social identity, meaning and purpose in life, and a positive sense of self.”

National Standards for Mental Health Services 2010, Government of Australia

In Magelang, promoting a recovery approach will mean working with families and community stakeholders, and supporting the primary health care centres (puskesmas) to be engaged in mental health care. GPs in these centres can be supported with mental health training. This will allow more co-ordinated treatment as well as administering medications in the community.  Additionally each centre can support mental health training for nurses who provide outreach care.

Professor Dr. Soerojo Magelang Mental Hospital will provide leadership and support for these important programs of community-based care and recovery for people with mental illness. With St. Vincent’s Hospital, Prof. Dr. Soerojo Magelang Hospital will host a series of workshops and training programs using bi-lingual training materials and health promotion resources.

St. Vincent’s Optimal Health Program will be explored as a structure, with evidence based tools and approaches demonstrated to build health literacy and improve personal outcomes for people experiencing mental illness. The overall goal of building primary and specialist care partnerships is to ensure a stronger and more empowered community.

St. Vincent’s and Professor Dr. Soerojo hospitals have partnered since 2016, to collaborate on training programs for human resources and skills in specialist mental health services.  Their shared interest lies in the engagement of primary care health providers to improve access to care and reduce stigma of mental health services.


David Anita, Brigid, Santi

Professor David Castle, Dr. Anita Budijanto, Ms. Brigid Ryan, Dr. Santi Yuliani

St. Vincent’s and Prof Dr. Soerojo Magelang Hospitals.