Unmet mental health needs in Pacific Islands

IN SOME Pacific Islands, patients with acute mental illnesses are commonly kept chained in villages or detained in police cells, a conference heard last week.

The 3rd World Congress of Asian Psychiatry in Melbourne was told services and facilities for people with mental illness were "woefully inadequate".

Among 15 countries in the Pacific with seven million people, there were just 13 psychiatrists, Professor M. Parameshvara Deva, from Fiji’s School of Medicine, said.