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A Report on a Mental Health Outreach Team Model for Post-Conflict Aceh

A Report on a Mental  Health Outreach Team Model for Post-Conflict Aceh


Enny Bahari, Sofia Rizka, Hayatullah


Abstrak

In Aceh, many persons with severe mental illness suffer extreme deprivation, living in isolation with little support for self development in areas of health, education, livelihood, and social integration in their families and communities.  This environment is a barrier to their development as human beings.  The mental hospital is often an extension of this form of deprivation, providing a space with inadequate services and persons living in over-crowded space with little privacy or space for self-development.    
This paper will report on a four-year program, supported by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Aceh 2006-2009, in which the three authors were deeply engaged as members of mental health outreach teams and participants in a formal evaluation project.  Teams worked in remote areas in Aceh (Bireuen and Aceh Utara), with close collaboration with District Health Offices, Puskesmas, and the Provincial Health Office, under the supervision of medical staff from Syiah Kuala University, as well as Harvard Medical School and the University of Indonesia.  The program succeeded in providing high quality medical care in PHCC level—which involved basic medical services, human resource and skill development, appropriate use of medications, the development of a system to identify those needing treatment and appropriately refer individuals to higher levels of services when necessary, as well as advocacy for mental health care for those in need.  Research data indicate very positive outcomes from this program.  Through providing basic medical care and rehabilitation services, research data indicate that mental health patients could return to being productive as human beings and the burden on families was decreased. This paper will argue for the importance of mental health services as critical to social recovery in post-conflict settings such as Aceh.

 


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