With the sharp increase of mental health problems, the ministry of Health is planning to come up with a National Mental Health Strategic Action Plan. It is intended to be a comprehensive plan that puts programs and strategies to “tackle the problem”. It is unclear what the government conceptualises as the problem. The government does intend to increase awareness of mental health issues and accessibility of mental health care services. Their plan also raises the issues of
- The standard of training: In the urgency to increase the number of mental health professionals, the quality of training cannot be compromised. It should not be viewed as an opportunity to make a quick dollar as these professionals will be responsible for someone’s health.
- Number of programs: To date there are only 2 universities offering Masters in Clinical Psychology.
- Ethics/Regulatory boards: Who should the public report to if a mental health professional behaves in an unethical manner? Who will regulate the practices of mental health professionals.