S-Space College of Engineering/Engineering Practice School (공과대학/대학원) Program in Bioengineering (협동과정-바이오엔지니어링전공) Journal Papers (저널논문_협동과정-바이오엔지니어링전공)
Mental health system at the community level in Korea: development, recent reforms and challenges
- Heo, Yong-Chang; Kahng, Sang Kyoung; Kim, Sungyong
- Issue Date
- BioMed Central
- International Journal of Mental Health Systems. 2019 Feb 13;13(1):9
- Since the introduction of the Mental Health Act (MHA) in 1995, mental health services have expanded at the community level in Korea. While community facilities for mental health have grown considerably, large numbers of people with mental disorders are accommodated as before in private mental hospitals. Korea needs to reduce the level of dependence on long-term treatments in hospitals and expand coverage of services for the people with mental illness (PMI) to all in local communities. To achieve this objective, the significant legislative changes were made through the amendment of the MHA. The completely revised act indicates that the Korean government seeks a harmonized balance between inpatient care and outpatient care by declaring the necessity of various welfare services to ensure human rights of the PMI. Particularly, mental health system furthers to provide comprehensive services for the majority of community population to monitor risk factors of mental disorders as well as for the PMI. In this sense, the Korean government could refer to the British case of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies as suggested by an OECD investigation team. Achieving the goal calls for both a deliberate realignment of existing services and additional resources in line with legislative reforms. Further public efforts should be made in collaboration with medical institutions and private service providers to realize the valuable goals pursued by the amended act.