How can we improve the access to Mental Health Care in Asia?

Thursday 5 May 11.00

Room E

In English


One out of five people in the world today experience a mental disorder in any given year. Mental health issues can affect anyone, regardless of age, race and economic or social class, and most of us will be affected at some point in our lives, indirectly or directly. In many parts of the Asia-Pacific region, appropriate care may not be available and access to mental health care may be limited. Women, who play a predominant role in caregiving both for the elderly and children and often head single-parent families, seem to have a higher and more persistent prevalence of depression and anxiety.

It is a problem with consequence for the future: 50% of mental illnesses begin at an early age. Moreover, the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has created an environment where many determinants of poor mental health are exacerbated. Mental health-related stigma and lack of inclusion of individuals with mental illness remain important areas of concern. This includes healthcare provider’s omission on mental illnesses as well as community awareness on mental health. Partly mental health care can be assessed by the supply of professionals and the availability of psychiatric beds in different settings. Another prerequisite for appropriate access to mental health care is the absorption of costs by public sector and healthcare providers. Clearly, mental health is a most relevant public health, economic and societal issue.

The objective of this workshop is

  1. to build a comprehensive mapping of the main issues pertaining to Mental health in selected Asian countries.
  2. to propose and initiate concrete solutions to tackle gaps in quality and access to care, leveraging all stakeholders’ resources and capacities, including possible partnerships between public and private players.


Alfred Beil 
Abu Bakar Puan Anita
Mental Illness Awareness & Support Association
Kawaldip Sehmi
International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations

Scientific assistant

Kastrati Lum
Bern University- Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine


Nadia Boughaba
Septiawan Debree
Self-Care Foundation
Nilufar Ahmed
University of Bristol
Wasserman Danuta
World Psychiatric Association
Judy Stenmark
Self-Care Foundation
Kamaldeep Bhui
World Psychiatric Association Collaborating Centre
Winnie Mak
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Diveena Nair
Mental Illness Awareness & Support Association
Manab Alya
Mental Illness Awareness & Support Association