Nearly 10 per cent of the Vietnamese population, or nine million people, suffer from mental disorders - some of it blamed on the pressures of the open-door economy and the rapid growth of technology.
Symptoms of the illnesses vary. They include anxiety, insomnia and emotional and behavioural disorders.
The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs revealed this at a conference in Hanoin yesterday. The meeting was attended by experts from the United States.
The conference enabled Vietnamese delegates to learn about international experiences in mental health care and social welfare.
At present, there are about 26 centres across the country handling more than 10,000 patients with serious mental disorders. These clinics have been gradually improving their infrastructure and enhancing the quality of services.
However, they encounter difficulties including insufficient medicine, imperfect policies, low pay for staff and limited public awareness about mental health.
Participants suggested the ministry build a national strategy to provide better services for patients.
They said the State should play the key role in expanding the social welfare network, but the participation of organisations, businesses and local people was also needed.