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Volunteers, professionals collaborate to address mental illness

Audrie Safira Maulana

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Wed, October 9, 2019  /  04:45 pm
Volunteers, professionals collaborate to address mental illness

You're not alone: Participants gather for a meet-up organized by mental health community Alpas. (JP/Audrie Safira Maulana)

A stigma is still attached to mental illness in the minds of many Indonesians. Indonesian society still perceives mental illness as something either trivial or irrational. Ironically, a large portion of the population suffers from mental illness. The latest study by global public opinion and data company YouGov finds that 27 percent of Indonesians have had suicidal thoughts. The actual figure could be higher, given that Indonesians by and large are embarrassed to open up about mental illness. Indonesian mental health communities have been increasing efforts to raise public awareness and aid mentally ill people. One of those communities is Alpas, which takes its name from a Tagalog word that means “to become free”. Alpas was established in early 2019 on the initiative of four youngsters who had worked together as volunteers at another mental health community. Th...