Mentally ill patients at the Psychiatric Nursing Care Center in Đa Nang City. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Around 15 percent of Vietnam’s population – approximately 13.5 million ­people – suffer from 10 of the more common mental disorders, reveal statistics released on November 29.

Around 2.8 percent of Vietnamese live with depression, 2.6 percent suffer from anxiety disorder, while 0.47 percent have schizophrenia, the Voice of Vietnam (VOV) online newspaper reported.

The data was revealed on November 29 at the start of a two-day meeting in Hai Phong City, organised by Lao dong va Xa hoi (Labour and Society) magazine and the Social Protection Department under the Ministry of Labour, Invalid and Social Affairs.

Around 200,000 Vietnamese people suffer from severe mental illnesses, according to a report by Pham Dung from the Medical Committee Netherlands-Việt Nam (MCNV) at the meeting. Of these, 98 percent cannot take care of themselves, 15 percent show violent behaviour, and 37 percent are yet to receive medication for treatment.

Around 18 percent of families of patients with severe mental illnesses reportedly face discrimination from the community.

The social protection department has only 45 centres across the country that offer care for patients with mental disorders.

Shortage of facilities and trained staff were the main challenges faced by the programme to take care of such patients, the department said.

To fix the situation, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs has set targets to provide care and functional rehabilitation services for 90 percent of people with severe mental illnesses by 2020. It also aims to conduct awareness programmes so that local communities stop discriminating against patients and their families. — VNA