Towards an integrated approach to mental health in Timor Leste

Dr Lisa Palmer, School of Geography, The University of Melbourne
Dr Ritsuko Kakuma, Global and Cultural Mental Health Unit, Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population & Global Health, The University of Melbourne
Ms Susan Barnes Anthropology, School of Social Sciences, Monash University

In 2014, an interdisciplinary team led by researchers from the Schools of Geography and Population and Global Health was granted a Vice-Chancellor’s Staff Engagement Award to explore the role of customary healers in mental health care in Timor Leste. The project enabled the team to work closely with the Ministry of Health to implement the exploratory research, which subsequently led to an official request from the Ministry of Health and financial support from WHO in Timor-Leste Country Office in 2015 to support the development of the National Mental Health Strategy 2016-2020. The aim of this ongoing engagement and research collaboration is to assist the Ministry to develop and implement an integrated approach to mental health in Timor-Leste.


Kakuma R, Barnes S, Seixas dos Santos H, Palmer L:Towards an integrated and accessible mental health care system in Timor Leste.In:Timor-Leste: the local, the regional and the global: 2015; Dili, Timor Leste: Swinburne Press; 2015: 264-270.

For more information:

Contact: Lisa Palmer