Mental illness on the rise in South Jakarta

South Jakarta's Social Agency says that the number of mentally-ill people in the municipality keeps increasing each year, and is mostly driven by economic hardship.

Agency head Abdurrahman Anwar said that from January to August this year, they found 89 such people on the street, up from 69 people in the same period last year. "The competition of life in Jakarta is getting harder. Their inability to overcome hardship is likely the reason why they are experiencing stress," he said as quoted by

He said that people with no education and skill would find it hard to survive in Jakarta. "Those who come here from out of town should have a strong mentality if they want to try their luck in the capital."

The agency's head of service and social rehabilitation unit, Miftahul Huda, said that people suffering from mental problems were usually found in the city's parks, before being taken to the social rehabilitation centers.

Miftahul said that the Jakarta Social Agency had cooperated with Duren Sawit mental hospital to take care of those people.

"After being examined by doctors, those who seem to be able to recover can be moved to regular hospitals. Once they get better, we will then try to contact the families," he said.