Mental illness has historically dwelt in the shadows of the global health and development agenda and only recently has moved from the margins to become a central priority in research and policy. Mental disorders account for 30% of the worldwide non-fatal disease burden and 10% of the overall disease burden, including death and disability, and the cost to the global economy is estimated to be as high as USD 6 trillion by 2030 (Marquez & Saxena, 2016).
Large middle- and low-income countries like Indonesia struggle with a plethora of challenges in delivering adequate mental health care to its 270.2 million citizens. Centralised funding for Indonesian mental health is only 1% of the national health budget; health expenditure is around 3% of GDP.
National health programming such as Indonesia Sehat, the incorporation of mental health into primary care basic standards and voluntary contributions from provincial budgets does provide some additional resources. However, there is a severe shortage of mental health personnel, treatment and care facilities, especially outside the island of Java (Pols, 2020).
A panel of experts from Indonesia, the UK and Australia will address various aspects of this challenging context from their diverse positions.