Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t aims to fill gap in mental health services



Gov’t aims to fill gap in mental health services

Health Ministry officials hold a meeting yesterday in Phnom Penh to discuss the lack of mental health treatment in Cambodia. Photo supplied
Health Ministry officials hold a meeting yesterday in Phnom Penh to discuss the lack of mental health treatment in Cambodia. Photo supplied

Gov’t aims to fill gap in mental health services

Not all Cambodians suffering from depression are seeking services due to lingering stigma and the persistent scarcity of mental health services in the Kingdom, officials and experts said yesterday.

Dr Chhit Sophal, director of the Ministry of Health’s department of mental health and substance abuse, said during a press conference that people suffering from depression “don’t dare” talk about it.

“The ministry has a difficult time controlling [depression] because most of [the people] don’t understand what depression is,” he said.

The press conference was part of several activities leading up to Friday’s World Health Day, the theme of which this year is depression.

Dr Yel Daravuth, with World Health Organization (WHO) Cambodia, said that based on numbers from a recent WHO global report, there could be as many as 4 people out of every 100 suffering from depression in the Kingdom.
However, to get an accurate number, Cambodia would need a national survey.

“[Given] the history of the country, we believe that the number with depression might be higher than what was determined by the global data,” he said, alluding to the country’s years of brutal Khmer Rouge rule and civil war.

However, only about 9.3 percent of the country’s health centres offer mental health services. Some 60 percent of the national and referral hospitals provide such treatment.

The government that 50 percent of health care centres offer the services by 2020.

Additional reporting by Yesenia Amaro

Read more: Chained up, out of sight: Desperate families often keep mentally ill relatives in squalid conditions

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from