Setiyawati, D., Blashki, G., Wraith, R., Colucci, E., & Minas, H. (2014). Indonesian experts' perspectives on a curriculum for psychologists working in primary health care in Indonesia. Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine, 2(1), 623-639. doi: 10.1080/21642850.2014.912946
Mental health is a critical issue in Indonesia, since its population ranks among the top five in the world and the prevalence of common mental disorders is 11.6% of the adult population. However, the need to build an effective mental health-care system that is accessible to the whole population has only been recently addressed. The Aceh tsunami in 2004 brought to the forefront an unexpected window of opportunity to build a mental health-care system. Integration of mental health care into primary health care is a key strategy to close the treatment gap for people with mental disorders. Existing integration of psychologists into primary health care is a big step to meet the shortage of mental health-care specialists. As primary mental health care is an emerging field, the perspectives of Indonesian experts on Indonesian mental health care are needed to develop a curriculum for training psychologists to work in primary health care. In this study, data have been collected through semi-structured interviews with 24 Indonesian mental health experts, and three focus group discussions with 26 psychologists. Overall, experts agreed that to be able to work in primary health-care psychologists should have roles and training ranging from clinical to advocacy skills. Participants also agreed that psychologists should work in the community and contribute to primary health care as service providers and that strong collaborations between psychologists and other primary health-care providers are the key; these can be developed partly through referral and by respecting each other's unique strengths.