Barriers and facilitators to access mental health services among people with mental disorders in Indonesia: A qualitative study


mental health services
social support

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Munira, L., Liamputtong, P., & Viwattanakulvanid, P. (2023). Barriers and facilitators to access mental health services among people with mental disorders in Indonesia: A qualitative study. Belitung Nursing Journal, 9(2), 110–117.
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Accepted for publication: 2023-02-14
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Background: The care and treatment management of people with mental health problems has become a prominent global concern in recent years that requires consistent attention. However, the literature suggests that only a small percentage of individuals with mental health problems in Indonesia receive the necessary mental health care. Therefore, it is crucial to explore this gap.

Objective: This study aimed to explore barriers and facilitators that affect access to mental health services among people with mental health disorders in Indonesia.

Methods: The study employed a qualitative descriptive design and focused on individuals with depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. Data were collected through in-depth interviews conducted via WhatsApp chat with 90 participants aged 18-32, who were purposively selected from Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, and Papua Islands in Indonesia between January and June 2022. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data.

Results: The barriers to accessing mental health services included: 1) uneasy access to mental healthcare facilities, 2) stigma, lack of social support, and delay in receiving proper treatment, and 3) expensive treatment costs without national health insurance membership. Importantly, the facilitators to access mental health services included: 1) national health insurance membership, 2) support from spouse, family, and closest friends and its association with mental health literacy, and 3) self-help.

Conclusion: The widespread distribution of mental health knowledge is recommended among healthcare providers, including public health practitioners and primary care nurses, to enhance their mental health literacy and competencies while rendering services to individuals with mental disorders. Additionally, efforts should be made to educate and promote awareness among caregivers and communities to reduce the stigma faced by those with mental disorders.


Copyright (c) 2023 Lafi Munira, Pranee Liamputtong, Pramon Viwattanakulvanid

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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Declaration of Conflicting Interest

There is no conflict of interest in this study.


None for the publication of this manuscript.


The researchers would like to thank all participants and the College of Public Health Sciences, Chulalongkorn University. This paper is a part of the first authors’ (LM) dissertation research. She received full scholarships for her Ph.D. study, covering tuition fees and monthly living allowance for three years. She did not receive any research grants for the research and did not work for any institution during these thirty-six months. She continued from her Master’s Study to her Ph.D. Study immediately at the same university that provided her full scholarships.

Authors’ Contributions

Substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data [LM, PL, PV]; Drafting the manuscript [LM]; revising it critically for important intellectual content [PL, PV]; Final approval of the version to be published [LM, PL, PV]; Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved [LM, PL, PV].

Data Availability

The datasets generated during and analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


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