House to discuss mental health bill
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JAKARTA: The House of Representatives will soon start deliberations on a bill on mental health, a senior lawmaker says.
Nova Riyanti Yusuf, the lawmaker who chairs the House working committee on the bill, said that it was previously designated a top priority for the House’s legislative agenda for 2012.
The lawmaker said that the bill would carry provisions on preventive
measures to tackle mental health problems in Indonesia, as reported by kompas.com.
Indonesia has been lagging in care for people with mental health problems, many of whom fall victim to inhumane treatment. The mentally ill have been frequently caged in small cells behind their houses, chained to beds, stoned by children, hidden by families, and, in some cases, had their feet clamped in stocks.
There are an estimated 20,000 people with severe mental illness who have been shackled by their families.
An estimated 19 million people suffer from mental illnesses in Indonesia. A lack of healthcare and basic public awareness means most never receive treatment.