Accessing therapy can be difficult, but we're here to help you navigate your options

Growing up, men in South Asia and Southeast Asia, as in many parts of the world, are frequently scolded with phrases like “stop crying like a girl”, as if the very human act of experiencing and expressing sadness or fear somehow inherently undermines their masculinity.

From a young age, we are taught that it is our duty to protect our families and to serve as unwavering pillars of strength for others to rely on. Unfortunately, these beliefs foster an environment where seeking support is often wrongly associated with weakness.

For men who grew up in South (India and Pakistan) and Southeast (Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand) Asia, this cultural pressure can lead to basing their worth solely by how much they can provide for others. These rigid structures can weigh heavily on a guy, leaving him feeling responsible for his entire family’s quality of life.

The narrow confines of more traditional and outdated social prescriptions of masculinity leave little room for us to process our emotions, and many of us never learn how to do so in healthy ways.

Men’s Mental Health Statistics in South & Southeast Asia

Across South and Southeast Asia, the need for mental health support remains largely unmet.

  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the South-East Asia Region alone accounts for 27% of global depression cases and 23% of anxiety[1]
  • South Asia: Suicide rates varied widely. Despite this variation, the average suicide rate across studies was notably high compared to the global average.[2]
  • Southeast Asia: Average suicide rates for men are approximately 12% higher than global averages for men. [3]

For comprehensive global statistics on male suicide, explore our detailed report: Stats on Suicide in Men.

Acknowledging the struggles in accessing support

Many men in South and Southeast Asia grapple with mental health challenges, often navigating them without fully understanding the severity of their concerns or the possibility of recovery.

Even among those who acknowledge that they are struggling, the prospect of seeking help can seem daunting. Making the decision to reach out is challenging enough, and finding oneself amidst the sometimes unregulated landscape of mental health services can be confusing and overwhelming. Despite the challenges, resources are available for those seeking mental health care in these regions.

Understanding the local context, regulations, various mental health professionals, and available services is crucial for those seeking therapy in South and Southeast Asia.

In this article, we’ll cover how to access mental health care, including regulations, education, licensing, and finding therapists. We’ll also discuss crisis hotlines, extra resources, and updates in mental health policies.

Finding a Therapist in South Asia

In India, approximately 1 in 7 individuals struggle with mental health disorders. In 2021, over 73,900 more men died by suicide than women, highlighting a stark gender disparity in suicide rates.

South Asian Man - India and PakistanSimilarly, Pakistan, home to around 200 million people, faces significant challenges in mental healthcare. With fewer than 500 psychiatrists serving this vast population, a substantial treatment gap exists, leaving over 90% of individuals with common mental disorders untreated.

In such a cultural landscape, many South Asians are raised with the pervasive influence of phrases like “log kya kahenge” or “What will people say?” These societal pressures not only shape every decision they make, but often override their own feelings and desires, prioritizing societal approval over personal well-being. This cultural backdrop is further reinforced by popular media, where characters like Kabir in “Kabir Singh” or Ranvijay Singh in “Animal” embody toxic masculinity, glorifying violence as a response to trauma and insecurity rather than exploring healthier coping skills.

Amidst these challenges, the quest for receiving qualified therapy becomes an uphill battle in a system where psychotherapy lacks proper regulation. Understanding the intricacies of mental health care regulation in South Asia and discerning the credentials that hold significance are essential steps in accessing trustworthy support.

Finding Professional Mental Health Care and Resources

In India

In India, healthcare financing, particularly for mental health services, is primarily paid for through out-of-pocket expenses. Ayushman Bharat aims for universal health coverage, including mental health services, through initiatives like the National Mental Health Program and the National Tele Mental Health Program. By January 2023, about 150,000 Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) were operational, integrating mental health into primary care. The program offers financial protection to reduce the burden of mental health treatment and combines these services with physical health care to reduce stigma.However, while Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY covers mental disorders, there are limitations and exclusions. Insurers prioritize episodic illnesses over long-term outpatient mental health treatment, resulting in insufficient coverage, especially for therapy sessions.[4]

 

Qualified Professionals

The three most recognized specialists for treating mental health issues are psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, and counseling psychologists. The Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) serves as a central authority overseeing rehabilitation and special education services, maintaining the Central Rehabilitation Register.

  • Psychiatrists primarily prescribe medication, offer diagnosis, and may offer therapy if trained in counselling. They are affiliated with the Medical Council of India, having completed rigorous training culminating in a bachelor’s in medicine and bachelor’s in surgery (MBBS), followed by specialization in psychiatry or a diploma in psychiatric medicine.
  • Clinical Psychologists typically undergo extensive education, including a master’s degree in psychology followed by a post-graduate diploma or master’s in philosophy (MPhil) in clinical or rehabilitation psychology from an RCI-approved institute. In addition to the RCI registry, the Indian Association for Clinical Psychologists (IACP) also maintains a directory, requiring an MPhil in clinical psychology from an RCI-recognized institute for membership. Clinical psychologists provide assessments, diagnosis, and therapy as part of their practice.
  • Counselling psychologists, who hold a master’s degree in counseling psychology, provide talk therapy. However, finding a qualified professional can be challenging due to the lack of specific licensing requirements. This gap allows individuals to call themselves counsellors without standardized training or supervision.

 

While you can find mental health professionals like psychiatrists and clinical psychologists in the RCI Registry, counselling psychologists are currently not included. Being listed in the RCI Registry indicates proper qualification, but accessing it can be challenging, and the information may not always be up to date.

 

Be cautious of ‘therapists’ with degrees in unrelated fields, life coaches, and those offering quick fixes or unrelated solutions. Ensure you seek professionals with appropriate credentials and experience.

 

For Immediate Support

Additional Resources

Updates and Improvements

In a significant stride toward enhancing regulation, the Indian government introduced The National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions Act in 2021. By creating a category for Behavioural Health Sciences Professionals, which includes a range of mental health professionals such as counselling psychologists, behaviour analysts, and mental health support workers, the act sets the stage for increased standardization and accountability in the sector.

 

 

In Pakistan

In Pakistani society, mental illnesses like anxiety or depression are often stigmatized and viewed as signs of religious weakness or divine punishment. Consequently, people typically seek help from religious or alternative healers before turning to mainstream healthcare, which often comes later in the illness’s progression.

 

Pakistan’s healthcare system prioritizes primary care, but in practice, many families bypass primary-care providers and go directly to specialist hospitals.

 

The Sehat Sahulat Programme, which strives for Universal Health Coverage in Pakistan, typically excludes mental health services, placing substantial reliance on government funding to ensure affordability.

 

With Pakistan allocating only 0.04% of its total budget to health, individuals face significant out-of-pocket expenses. While national insurance schemes offer reimbursement for psychosis, bipolar disorder, and depression, they lack funding for other mental health conditions requiring therapy or counselling, such as anxiety and personality disorders.[5]

 

Qualified Professionals

  • Psychiatrists have the highest level of formal recognition and legal status. To become a psychiatrist, individuals must first qualify as medical doctors, a process verified by the Pakistan Medical Commission. Psychiatrists primarily focus on diagnosis and medication.
  • Clinical psychologists are a crucial part of the mental health profession, focusing on diagnosing and treating mental and emotional disorders. The Pakistan Psychological Association (PPA) sets criteria for qualified clinical psychologists, requiring a PhD in clinical psychology and completion of specific internship requirements. Those without a PhD can practice under qualified supervision if they hold diplomas or master’s degrees in clinical psychology.However, Pakistan lacks an overarching regulatory or licensing body for psychologists, and PPA membership is not mandatory for practice. Although there is currently no official registry of Pakistani psychologists, the Pakistan Psychological Society is preparing to launch the first one.
  • The titles ‘mental health counsellor’, ‘therapist’, and ‘psychotherapist’ lack legal protection, allowing individuals to use them without regard for their training or qualifications. Qualified counselors in Pakistan come from diverse backgrounds, often possessing a master’s in counselling psychology from recognized local universities or a diploma in humanistic counselling and psychotherapy from institutes like CPPD or Therapy Works, affiliated with UK-based accrediting bodies. Alternatively, some may hold a master’s in counselling from reputable institutions in the UK or the US. The counselling directory is an independent directory for consumers to find ethical and qualified therapists. They support clients through talk therapy.

Healthcare facilities in Islamabad, including psychology clinics, must register with the Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority (IHRA) and comply with quality healthcare service standards to secure licensing for mental health services. Individuals can verify the legitimacy of clinics by consulting the IHRA registry.

 

For Immediate Support

Reach out to UMANG at (92) 0311 7786264.

  • 24/7 Mental Health Helpline operated by GCP certified clinical psychologists. Verified by WHO: Eastern Mediterranean Region.

Additional Resources

Updates and Improvements

Pakistan is making strides in strengthening mental health rehabilitation. In 2022, the Pakistan Senate passed a bill to decriminalize acts of self-harm and suicide. Additionally, researchers at the University of Manchester have spearheaded the drafting of Pakistan’s first Mental Health Policy, which was initially implemented in Sindh Province.

Various initiatives, including the Psychiatry Registry of Pakistan (PsyRoP) and endeavors facilitated by organizations like the Pakistan Psychiatric Society, are underway to compile comprehensive directories of psychiatrists nationwide. These endeavors are geared towards enhancing access to mental health services throughout the country.

Finding a Therapist in Southeast Asia

In Southeast Asia, the concept of saving ‘face’ remains prevalent, as openly acknowledging struggles with mental illness can result in a loss of social standing. This stigma stems from traditional values that prioritize honour, pride, and collectivism within families, often leading to the perception of mental illness as a source of shame. These traditional values, coupled with ingrained gender norms, continue to fuel the pervasive stigma surrounding men’s mental health.

In the Philippines

In Filipino culture, mental illness often carries stigma and is sometimes attributed to supernatural causes like God’s will or witchcraft, which can discourage seeking professional help and lead to reliance on traditional healers who lack formal training in providing mental health support.

 

The Mental Health Act of 2018, or Republic Act 10029, establishes regulatory guidelines for mental healthcare services. While it covers various specialties such as counselling psychology and assessment psychology, there is no differentiation between psychologists based on these specializations.

 

In line with Universal Health Care objectives, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) now provides an outpatient benefit package for mental health. This package offers funding for both general and specialty mental health services, aiming to enhance accessibility and affordability. Individuals in the Philippines typically directly access psychiatrists or psychologists without requiring a referral from a general practitioner.

 

Qualified Professionals

 In the Philippines, mental health professionals undergo extensive training and certification.

  • Psychiatrists complete a Residency Training Program after medical school. The Philippine Psychiatric Association, the leading body dedicated to advancing mental health and psychiatric care, maintains a directory of qualified psychiatrists. While many psychiatrists practice independently, some work in government institutions such as the National Center for Mental Health, offering a comprehensive range of services, including assessment, counselling, and medication management.

There are two main other types of mental health professionals in the Philippines: psychologists and psychometricians.

  • Psychologists, identified by the “RPsy” title, hold a master’s degree in psychology and valid certification. They provide talk therapy and conduct psychological assessments.
  • Psychometricians, recognized by “RPm,” require at least a bachelor’s degree in psychology and can administer psychological tests under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. They typically do not provide therapy.

Therapists’ credentials can be verified through the Professional Regulation Commission.

For Immediate Support

Additional Resources

Updates and Improvements

 Since the passage of the Mental Health Act in 2018, mental health services have expanded, with 362 access sites nationwide serving 124,246 users in 2022. The Philippines Department of Health, in collaboration with WHO, launched the 2024-2028 Philippine Council for Mental Health (PCMH) Strategic Framework to guide mental health policies, programs, and services in the country.

In Indonesia

In Indonesia, mental illness is highly stigmatized, leading to practices like pasung, where individuals with mental health conditions are secluded and restrained by family members. Despite being prohibited due to human rights violations, pasung persists. By 2016, over 57,000 Indonesians had experienced pasung at least once in their lives[6]. This issue is particularly prevalent in regions with limited mental health services and pervasive negative attitudes toward mental illness.

 

Indonesia’s mental health landscape faces significant challenges due to the absence of a comprehensive mental health policy. While the Mental Health Law focuses on integrating mental health into the medical system, there is still much work to be done.

 

Currently, most mental health services are provided in tertiary settings, primarily public psychiatric hospitals. The BPJS Kesehatan universal health insurance scheme, introduced in 2014, seeks to improve primary care by designating general practitioners (GPs) in community health centers (puskesmas) as the main gatekeepers to the healthcare system.

Individuals seeking mental health support typically begin with consultations at primary health centers and are then referred to secondary and tertiary levels for psychiatric care, where treatments are covered by BPJS-K.

 

Qualified Professionals

  • Psychiatrists typically complete a medical degree, undergo residency training in psychiatry, and pass a certification examination conducted by either the Indonesian Medical Council or the Indonesian Psychiatric Association for official recognition as a psychiatrist. They can diagnose and treat mental illnesses, primarily through medication-based approaches.
  • Clinical psychologists have various practice settings, though their authority may not be as robust as in other countries. Efforts are ongoing to enhance their role and recognition, with the Indonesian Psychological Association (HIMPSI) overseeing licensing and professional standards nationwide. Psychologists provide talk therapy and cannot prescribe medication.
  • To become a licensed psychologist in Indonesia, individuals pursue a postgraduate program accredited by HIMPSI, usually a master’s (S2) degree in counselling or clinical psychology following a bachelor’s (S1) degree in psychology or Sarjana Psikologi (S. Psi). Search for HIMPSI members.

For Immediate Support

  • Contact SEJIWA (Layanan Psikologi untuk Sehat Jiwa) at 119.

Additional Resources

  • Halo Jiwa is a social enterprise providing mental health education, research, counselling, support groups, and mental health tests.
  • Bali Bersama Bisa offers complimentary in-person or online counselling (available on specific days of the week).
  • Columbia Asia Indonesia’s Department of Psychiatry offers comprehensive care and counseling for neuropsychological issues in both adults and children, and has hospitals in Medan, Pulomas, and Semarang.

Updates and Improvements

 In 2019, national agencies, including the National Human Rights Commission, signed an agreement to monitor institutions where individuals with mental health issues are shackled or detained. These efforts aim to ensure regular and independent monitoring in places like traditional faith healing centres and mental health facilities.[7] Additionally, initiatives such as the Indonesia Free from Pasung campaign work toward integrating mental health care into community health centres (puskesmas) and providing specialized programs addressing mental health care after natural disasters, depression, suicide prevention, and online mental health care.[8] 

In Singapore

Mental health has emerged as the top concern among Singaporeans, surpassing cancer and stress, with 46% of residents prioritizing it, according to Ipsos’ Global Health Service Monitor[9]. The 2016 Singapore Mental Health Study (SMHS) found that one in seven Singaporeans will experience a mood, anxiety, or alcohol use disorder at some point in their lives. Alarmingly, fewer than 25% seek professional help and those who do often face significant delays before receiving treatment.[10]

 

In Singapore, mental health services are available in both public and private hospitals, with the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) serving as the primary provider.

 

Subsidies of up to 80% are offered for mental healthcare at public institutions[11], supported by Singapore’s universal healthcare system and its “three M’s” (Medisave, Medishield, and Medifund). Programs like the Chronic Disease Management Programme (CDMP) cover conditions such as schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety.

 

Coverage rates and caps depend on treatment type and diagnosis.[12]

 

The Ministry of Health serves as the central authority for locating healthcare professionals and clinics. While patients often require a referral from their General Practitioner (GP) for subsidized care, they have the option to directly book appointments with psychiatrists at their own expense.[13]

 

Qualified Professionals

  • Psychiatrists undergo rigorous training, including medical school and housemanship. Additionally, they are required to participate in Continuing Medical Education (CME), which aims to enhance their knowledge, skills, and professional performance. All medical practitioners must be registered with the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) and issued a Practicing Certificate (PC) before they are authorized to practice medicine.
    You can verify the qualifications of psychiatrists through the SMC’s registry. Psychiatrists can prescribe medications for mental health conditions but typically do not provide ongoing talk therapy.
  • Counsellors and psychologists lack formal government regulation, but organizations like the Singapore Association for Counselling and the Singapore Psychological Society have professional standards such as postgraduate training and supervised clinical practice hours. These organizations manage registries for counsellors and psychologists, respectively. Psychologists and counsellors offer talk therapy. Psychologists diagnose and treat a wide range of mental health issues, while counsellors focus on less severe concerns and do not conduct assessments or diagnoses .It’s essential to conduct due diligence when selecting a clinical psychologist or therapist, verifying their credentials and reviews, and utilizing directories provided by professional organizations.

In Singapore, a referral is not required to schedule an appointment with a clinical psychologist, facilitating quicker and easier appointment bookings.

 

For Immediate Support

Additional Resources

Updates and Improvements:

In 2023, Singapore unveiled a National Mental Health and Well-being Strategy aimed at establishing a comprehensive mental health ecosystem. This strategy encompasses expanding services, enhancing capabilities, promoting mental well-being, and improving workplace mental health. The strategy involves collaboration across multiple sectors and includes proposals for legislation on workplace fairness. To ensure a holistic approach to mental health, a National Mental Health Office will oversee the implementation of this strategy.

Currently, over 450 GPs in GP clinics are trained to support individuals with mental health needs under the Mental Health GP Partnership Programme. The goal is to make mental health services available at 1,350 Healthier GP clinics by 2030.[14}

In Malaysia

In Malaysia, terms like sakit mental (mental illness) and gila (madness) carry strong negative connotations. Malays often attribute various forms of madness to different causes and frequently seek treatment from traditional healers (bomoh).

 

For instance, Dirasuk, a term for someone experiencing emotional outbursts, hallucinations, or a trance-like state, is believed to involve possession by ghosts or spirits and is treated by traditional or religious healers. The acceptance of a mental health diagnosis and treatment remains low among Malays due to concerns about side effects and stigma, leading many to prefer spiritual remedies. Health beliefs among Malay Muslims often link psychiatric issues to fate and religion, prompting them to confide in family members rather than seek medical help, a trend observed even among professionals.[15}

 

The journey to seeking therapy often begins with consulting a family doctor or GP, who may refer individuals to a psychiatrist if medication is required, or to a clinical psychologist or counsellor for therapy.

 

Alternatively, private treatment offers the option to schedule appointments directly with psychiatrists or psychologists without needing a GP referral. However, it’s advisable to keep your family doctor informed throughout your treatment process.

Qualified Professionals

To ensure therapists’ qualifications, it is crucial to verify their registration through the provided links below:

  • Psychiatrists undergo extensive training, starting with a bachelor’s degree in medicine recognized by the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC). This is followed by a two-year housemanship and three years of compulsory service in the Ministry of Health. Subsequently, they pursue a master’s degree in psychiatry and register with the Malaysian Medical Council. A psychiatrist’s primary training revolves around a medical approach to mental health, emphasizing medication and diagnosis, although they may also offer psychotherapy.
  • Clinical psychologists, regulated by the Malaysian Allied Health Professions Council, typically hold a bachelor’s degree in psychology followed by a master’s degree in clinical psychology, along with relevant practical experience. They often register with the Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology and assess, diagnose, and treat mental health issues through psychotherapy.
  • Registered counsellors typically hold at least a master’s degree in counselling. While a background in psychology is not mandatory, it’s common for psychology graduates to enroll in counselling programs. They undergo registration through the Board of Counsellors or Lembaga Kaunselor Malaysia, governed by the Counsellors Act 1998. View the directory of registered counsellors here. Registered counsellors offer talk therapy, addressing personal issues like grief, communication, stress, and more.

 

For Immediate Support

  • Talian Kasih at 15999, 24-hour Nationwide Helpline & Counselling service, or via WhatsApp at +60192615999.

Additional Resources

Updates and Improvements:

The Malaysian Mental Health Association continues to advocate for the review of private psychiatric nursing homes and centers by the Health Ministry in Malaysia, emphasizing the importance of ensuring compliance with global standards and provisions of the Mental Health Act.[16}

In Thailand

In Thailand, there is a cultural belief that when someone’s kwan (soul) is lost, it can lead to illness and signal weakness. Ceremonies are often performed to preserve or retrieve lost kwan. Some people attribute mental illness to ghosts or spirits, seen as consequences of past misdeeds, and seek remedies like holy water, while others believe it is due to bad karma. These cultural beliefs can stigmatize mental health issues and deter individuals from seeking professional help[17]

 

Thai citizens can access mental health services through the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) system, administered by the Ministry of Public Health and its Department of Mental Health. This system provides essential mental healthcare services through psychiatric departments in both general and specialized hospitals.

 

Under UHC, most mental health services, including consultations and related medications, are either free or heavily subsidized. However, accessing these services typically requires a referral from a doctor and booking an appointment with the relevant specialist. Unfortunately, due to a shortage of mental health professionals, particularly psychologists and psychiatrists, the public healthcare system often faces long waiting times, sometimes up to six months.

 

Alternatively, many individuals, including Thai nationals and expatriates, opt for private healthcare options, which offer shorter waiting times, multilingual practitioners, and better facilities. However, these services come with associated costs that may or may not be covered by health insurance.

 

Qualified Professionals

  • Psychiatrists are the primary mental health practitioners in Thailand and undergo rigorous training, typically lasting three years after obtaining a medical degree. They are regulated by professional organizations such as the Royal College of Psychiatrists of Thailand and the Psychiatric Association of Thailand.[18} Most psychiatrists primarily work within the national healthcare system and only devote part-time hours to private clinics outside of their official duties. Psychiatrists are trained and licensed to prescribe medications, arrange hospital admissions, physical examinations, and investigative procedures.
  • Clinical psychologists belong to the paramedical profession and often work alongside psychiatrists. Their training includes a bachelor’s degree without medical or postgraduate qualifications. They can provide therapy and support, and prescribe medication but only under a psychiatrist’s supervision. Professional associations like the Thai Psychological Association (TPA) and the Thai Clinical Psychologist Association (TCPA) can help us to verify member details through the TCPA directory.
  • Despite distinctions, urban centers like Bangkok boast psychology practices resembling those found in Europe or the United States, albeit with looser regulations. Counselling psychologists typically concentrate on behavioural issues using therapies like Cognitive Behavioural therapy (CBT), a newer addition to Thailand’s healthcare landscape.
  • Additionally, therapists or general mental health counsellors in Thailand are not formally regulated, but may hold international accreditations and training to provide therapy. When seeking mental health support, it’s essential to research and prioritize therapists or counsellors with reputable qualifications and several years of experience.

 

For Immediate Support

English line: 02 113 6789, press 2

Additional Resources

Updates and improvements

Psychiatric care in Thailand has undergone continuous development, fueled by collaborative efforts among various organizations. Recent changes include the integration of Eastern and Western treatment approaches, the enhancement of academic training programs, and a growing recognition of the importance of gender in mental health care.

 

These advancements are positioning Thailand to provide more effective and integrated care for its citizens.[19]

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Conclusion

The pervasive stigma surrounding men’s mental health continues to have lasting effects, especially among younger generations, who often associate mental illnesses with derogatory terms and may feel (wrongfully) embarrassed about seeking help.[20]

Finding a therapist in South and Southeast Asia can be challenging. Thankfully, awareness about mental health issues is steadily rising. Organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) are actively advocating for change, and initiatives aimed at destigmatizing mental illness are gaining traction.[21]

Governments and healthcare systems are beginning to acknowledge the importance of implementing comprehensive mental health policies and integrating these services into primary care.

 

References:

  1.  Lemon, C. A., Svob, C., Bonomo, Y., Dhungana, S., Supanya, S., Sittanomai, N., Diatri, H., Haider, I. I., Javed, A., Chandra, P., Herrman, H., Hoven, C. W., & Sartorius, N. (2024). Priorities for research promoting mental health in the south and east of Asia. “The Lancet Regional Health – Southeast Asia, 23”, 100287. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lansea.2023.100287
  2.  Jordans, M. J., Kaufman, A., Brenman, N. F., Adhikari, R. P., Luitel, N. P., Tol, W. A., & Komproe, I. (2014). Suicide in South Asia: A scoping review. BMC Psychiatry, 14 (1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-014-0358-9
  3.  World Health Organization. (2019). Suicide in the world. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
  4.  National Health Authority. NHA. (n.d.). https://nha.gov.in/PM-JAY
  5.  Alvi, M. H., Ashraf, T., Kiran, T., Iqbal, N., Gumber, A., Patel, A., & Husain, N. (2023). Economic burden of mental illness in Pakistan: An estimation for the year 2020 from existing evidence. BJPsych International, 20 (3), 54–56. https://doi.org/10.1192/bji.2023.4
  6.  Sharma, K. (2023, May 9). Living in hell. Human Rights Watch. https://www.hrw.org/report/2016/03/20/living-hell/abuses-against-people-psychosocial-disabilities-indonesia 
  7.  Dehghan, S. K. (2019, September 13). Indonesia takes steps to improve protection of mental health patients. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/sep/13/indonesia-takes-steps-to-improve-protection-of-mental-health-patients 
  8.  Hidayat, M. T., Oster, C., Muir-Cochrane, E., & Lawn, S. (2023). Indonesia free from Pasung: A policy analysis. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 17 (1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13033-023-00579-6
  9.  Ipsos. (2023, October 9). Singaporeans deem mental health as the biggest health problem. https://www.ipsos.com/en-sg/singaporeans-deem-mental-health-biggest-health-problem
  10.  Natividad, N. (2021, January 14). The struggle of getting mental health treatment in Singapore. VICE. https://www.vice.com/en/article/88adk4/singapore-public-healthcare-mental-health-insurance
  11.  Weng, Y. H. (2024, April 3). News highlights. Ministry of Health. https://www.moh.gov.sg/news-highlights/details/efforts-to-improve-coverage-and-to-explore-alternative-or-subsidy-models-for-affordable-mental-healthcare-services
  12.  Natividad, N. (2021, January 14). 
  13.  Tree, B. (2024, May 20). Accessing mental healthcare in Singapore. Expatica Singapore. https://www.expatica.com/sg/health/primary-care/mental-health-singapore-2172768/
  14.  Weng, Y. H. (2024, April 3). 
  15.  Ab Razak, A. (2017). Cultural construction of psychiatric illness in Malaysia. Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, 24(2), 1–5. https://doi.org/10.21315/mjms2017.24.2.1. PMCID: PMC5566056.
  16.  Muthiah, W. (2024, February 27). Keep mental healthcare up to date. The Star. https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2024/02/27/keep-mental-healthcare-up-to-date
  17.  Burnard, P., Naiyapatana, W., & Lloyd, G. (2006). Views of mental illness and mental health care in Thailand: A report of an ethnographic study. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 13 (6), 742–749. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2850.2006.01028.x
  18.  Wannarit, K., Pukrittayakamee, P., & Udomratn, P. (2023). Current status of Psychiatric Care in Thailand. Taiwanese Journal of Psychiatry, 37(3), 103-112, Jul–Sep 2023| DOI: 10.4103/TPSY.TPSY_22_23  
  19.  Ibid.
  20.  Ng, K. (2018, March 11). “Crazy, weird, scary”: Survey unveils negative labels Youths Associate with Mental Illness. TODAY. https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/crazy-weird-scary-survey-unveils-negative-labels-youths-associate-mental-illness
  21.  Meshvara, D. (2002). Mental health and mental health care in Asia. World Psychiatry. PMID: 16946871; PMCID: PMC1489866.

 

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