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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mental health in cambodia: some facts and figures

Mental health in cambodia: some facts and figures

TPO estimates that 30 percent of Cambodians suffer from mental health issues, which include anything from depression and alcoholism to forms of psychosis. They estimate the current figure in most Western countries is four percent. The National Institute of Mental Health in the US has estimated that 51 percent of Cambodians suffer from mood-related disorders, compared with an estimated 9.5 percent in the West. 

Ka Sunbunat, professor of psychiatry and director of the National Programme for Mental Health at the Ministry of Health, estimated that about 60 percent of Cambodians who were alive during the Khmer Rouge regime are living with a mental illness.

The Cambodian-Russian Friendship Hospital is the only hospital in Phnom Penh where people can seek psychiatric care, suffering serious overcrowding as a result. It offers three different treatment methods: consultation, medication and rehabilitation. Psychologist Mony Sothara  said that ideally treatment is tailored to individual needs. The biggest problem, Mony Sothara said, was a lack of resources: There are only 26 psychiatrists in Cambodia and 40 psychiatric nurses. 

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