Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Psychological distress high among disabled

Psychological distress high among disabled

Amputees make their way through the National Rehabilitation Center for the Disabled last year in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district.
Amputees make their way through the National Rehabilitation Center for the Disabled last year in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district. Vireak Mai

Psychological distress high among disabled

People with disabilities and their families in two Cambodian provinces – Kampong Cham and Tbong Khmum – experience significant psychological distress, endure discrimination and stigma and their rights “remain largely unrecognised”, a new study has found.

A draft of the joint-study by NGOs Louvain Cooperation and Handicap International in Cambodia – which will still undergo a few modifications – was made public on Friday.

A total of 230 participants were selected for the research, which found that most people faced psychological distress due to several factors, such as social exclusion, stigma and discrimination, as well as family conflict and a lack of employment.

Thann Khem, program manager at Louvain Cooperation, said a program to provide free mental health services for people with disabilities will be launched next year, following the release of the final version of the study.

“The purpose of this study was to find out the problems our disabled people face and [then] give them health services to meet their needs,” he said.

A third of respondents reported feeling worried, regretful, upset, embarrassed, lonely and angry all the time.

“Additionally, the level of physical impairment is a major determinant of the degree of psychological distress,” the study points out.

Min Chenda, a technical assistant at Handicap International, said the study also found that people lost confidence in themselves after becoming disabled due to road accidents and landmine explosions.

Many of them also faced discrimination, she added.

Being teased accounted for 50 percent of the discrimination faced by women, compared to a 54 percent for men. Being insulted in conversation accounted for 29 percent of discrimination experienced by women, and 24 percent for men.

Em Chanmakara, secretary-general of Cambodia’s Disability Action Council, said the 2009 Law on the Protection and Promotion of Rights of Persons with Disabilities was still not yet fully implemented, but insisted that was due to a lack of resources, not commitment.

“The government can’t do it alone,” he said, adding that there’s no timeframe to have the law fully implemented.

However, he said that the government is making progress. For example, building accessibility guidelines are expected to be approved later this month by the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Land Management.

People with disabilities represent 4 percent of Cambodia’s total population.

MOST VIEWED

  • Investors’ $14.4M projects approved

    New investments from local and foreign sources continue to pour into Cambodia despite the Covid-19 pandemic remaining a lingering threat to regional and global economies. This comes as the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract between one and 2.9 per cent this

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • Rubber exports stretch 17%

    Cambodia exported 97,175 tonnes of natural rubber in the first five months of this year, surging 17 per cent compared to the same period last year as the Covid-19 pandemic stretches on, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries official Khuong Phalla told The Post on Thursday. Phalla,

  • ASEM supports Kingdom’s proposal to postpone meeting amid Covid

    The 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM13) scheduled to be held in Cambodia in November has been postponed until mid-2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation press statement released on Saturday said. The decision was made during a two-day meeting

  • Coffee maker roasted for producing fake product

    The Ministry of Interior’s Counter Counterfeit Committee will send a suspect to court on Monday after she allegedly roasted coffee mixed with soybeans and other ingredients, creating a product which could pose a high risk to consumers’ health. On the afternoon of July 2, the

  • Cash handout programme 80% complete

    Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation Vong Soth confirmed on Thursday that the implementation of the Cash Transfer Programme For Poor and Vulnerable Households During Covid-19 had been implemented for more than 80% of the over 560,000 families. The programme was introduced one week ago.

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Where is Cambodia’s exit strategy that can save the economy?

    With the prospect of being slammed by a double whammy, the government is working on an economic recovery plan to deliver it from Covid-19 and the EU’s partial withdrawal of the Everything But Arms scheme in the next two to three years Cambodia is

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.