Vietnam has about 14 million people with mental disorders

Vietnam has about 14 million people with mental disorders but only 143 clinical psychologists and psychotherapists. However, clinical psychology services are not officially covered by health insurance.

On August 3 in Hanoi, the Department of Medical Examination and Treatment Management organized a workshop to develop a project to strengthen the capacity of the mental health care system for the period 2023-2030.

Mental health services in Vietnam mainly treat with medication
Dr. Cao Hung Thai – Deputy Director of the Department of Medical Examination and Treatment Management said that Vietnam is facing a dual disease model, with complicated infectious diseases in which non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, Diabetes, COPD, mental illness… tend to increase.

Vietnam also suffers from great impacts due to population aging, high disability rate (neurological disability) and consequences from the COVID-19 pandemic . Meanwhile, compared to other specialties, mental health is an area of ​​public health that receives less attention.

The 2022 survey results of the Department of Medical Examination and Treatment Administration show that 61.3% (398/total 649) of district hospitals/district medical centers organize outpatient medical examination and treatment for mentally ill people, but Only 9.1% (59/649) of district-level facilities organize inpatient medical examination and treatment for mentally ill people. This result gives teachers a large gap in the treatment of mental disorders at the district level.

Mental health services in Vietnam are mainly treated with medication. The country has about 14 million people with mental disorders but only 143 clinical psychologists and psychotherapists. However, clinical psychology services are not yet an official service covered by health insurance, so the 143 clinical psychologists and psychotherapists are mainly considered technicians and do psychological tests. , not a real clinical psychology service.

Psychiatric rehabilitation services are also very limited. There are no formal mental health services for people affected by natural disasters, such as floods, droughts and epidemics (such as the COVID19 pandemic).

Vietnam is facing an increasing trend of mental disorders
Like many countries in the world, Vietnam is facing an increasing trend of mental disorders. According to a report by the Central Mental Hospital, the rate of 10 common mental disorders in 2014 was 14.2%, of which depressive disorder alone accounted for 2.45%. The suicide rate in 2015 was 5.87 per 100,000 people.

According to Ho Chi Minh City Children’s Hospital, up to 8-20% of Vietnamese children and adolescents have common mental health problems. Research on other special groups also shows that the rate of depression during pregnancy is 5% and postpartum depression is 8.2%, the incidence rate of postpartum depression is 6.5% (2018). ), the rate of depression in lung cancer patients is 24.6% (2017).

Billions of people around the world have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is having a deeper impact on people’s mental health, exacerbating short- and long-term stress and destroying health. mental health of millions of people. Estimates show an increase in both anxiety and depressive disorders of more than 25% in the first year of the pandemic.

In addition, there are misconceptions and social stigma towards people with mental disorders: most people consider mental disorders to be just schizophrenia without knowing that there are many other types of mental disorders. such as depression, anxiety, alcohol-induced mental disorders… Stigmatizing patients with mental disorders and not accepting diagnoses of mental disorders leads to delays in the process of diagnosis and treatment. treatment and seek extreme treatment methods.

Most people have not received mental health care services. Mental health services are mainly available at central and provincial specialized facilities. The district and commune levels mainly manage and treat schizophrenia and epilepsy, while according to a survey by Central Psychiatric Hospital 1, these two diseases only account for about 0.5% of the population and the total number of disorders. Psychosis is 14.2% of the population.

It is estimated that 0.5% of other mental disorders are treated at specialized facilities, so that over 90% (13/14) of people with mental disorders have not received official services, while the situation is Mental disorders are increasing in number as well as diversifying many diseases such as anxiety, substance addiction, dementia, autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder…

At the Workshop, delegates discussed the goals of the Project such as: Strengthening leadership, administration, and inter-sectoral coordination of ministries, branches, and governments at all levels and mobilizing society in health care. mental; Improve mental health and prevent mental disorders; Strengthen the capacity and effectiveness of mental health human resources in prevention, monitoring, detection, treatment, management, rehabilitation and social support for people with mental disorders; Strengthen the mental health care system to provide comprehensive, integrated, continuous, and community-based health and social services.

Precious King

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