Vietnam’s rural areas cut off from mental health services – study

February 9, 2018

Mental health and psychosocial problems are widespread and increasing in Vietnam, particularly among children and young people.
Despite some progress, mental health services in Vietnam remain largely inadequate, according to a new study released by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

The lack of mental health services is particularly acute in remote province. There, services are insufficient to prevent suicide and treat mental health disorders, which are often at the heart of suicidal ideation and attempts, according to the study of mental health and psychosocial wellbeing among children and young people in selected provinces and cities in Vietnam.

Chief of the Child Survival and Development Programme of UNICEF Vietnam, Friday Nwaigwe, said: “Children with mental disorders face major challenges with stigma, isolation and discrimination, as well as lack of access to health care and education facilities, in violation of their fundamental human rights.”

While some mental health and psychosocial services are provided through social welfare and social protection centres, mental health hospitals and psychosocial units in schools, their quality and coverage is limited, and often focused on severe mental health disorders.

The report has recommended the Vietnamese government to strengthen and increase the quantity and quality of human resources for mental health in the public sector, as well as the number and type of services, particularly those focusing on less severe mental health problems.


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