Associate Professor Harry Minas
Ms Ruth Wraith
Associate Professor Grant Blashki
Dr Erminia Colucci
A study of Australian and International Experiences to Inform the Development of Curriculum for Psychologists Working in Primary Care in Indonesia
While mental health is acknowledged an integral part of human health capacity in low and middle income countries to provide treatment and care for people with mental disorders is limited. The key strategy for expanding such capacity is provision of mental health services through existing primary care services. An obstacle in achieving this goal is the limited number, and the limited mental health knowledge and skills, of doctors and nurses working in primary care. A strategy to overcome this obstacle in both high income and low and middle income countries is to have more psychologists working in primary care settings. However, the process of integrating psychologists into primary care services presents many challenges. Among these challenges is the issue of whether psychologists’ training adequately prepares them for working as part of primary care clinical teams. The integration of psychology into primary care in Indonesia commenced in 2004 in Sleman District (Yogyakarta Province) in collaboration with the Faculty of Psychology, Universitas Gadjah Mada. From an initial six psychologists in 2004 this has expanded to 25. Based on experience so far it is evident that the psychologists’ current education is not adequate preparation for working effectively in a primary care settings. This study aims to produce proposals for a revised curriculum for psychologists working in primary care in Indonesia, which, in the absence of other research evidence, will be based on consensus among international, Australian and Indonesian psychologists with expertise in primary care psychology.