The Wave Clinic: Supporting Young People and their Families in Jakarta

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Jakarta, the huge capital city of Indonesia, is a dynamic, fast-paced, and inspiring urban centre. Its architecture and history are built upon the confluences of several cultures, which influence a diverse and vibrant society.

But, alongside its assets, there are also shortcomings. As with many cities around the world, there is a lack of mental health support, particularly specialist child and adolescent psychiatry services.

During adolescence, as young people’s brains, social life, and identity continue to develop, these services are crucial to the health and well-being of children, adolescents, and adults in the region.

At The Wave Clinic, we have years of experience looking after families based in Jakarta. From our centre in Indonesia, we offer specialist, dedicated youth mental health support for children and adolescents, in residential and outpatient settings.

As neighbours of Jakarta, we’re able to offer outpatient follow-up psychiatry to families at our centre, as well as to make the trip to Jakarta ourselves to provide treatment close to home.

This blog offers some information about the lack of young people’s mental health support in Jakarta – and The Wave’s experience working with families who are based in the city.

What Mental Health Concerns Do Young People in Jakarta Experience?

Young people in Jakarta experience a range of mental health concerns. They may experience emotional symptoms, such as anxiety or depression, or behavioural problems in the way they relate to the outside world.

Some face challenges related to hyperactivity or their relationships with other young people. Research suggests that 30% of adolescents in West Jakarta may have emotional or behavioural symptoms.

Some young people with mental health concerns may meet the criteria for mental health disorders. Common mental health disorders among children and adolescents include:

  • Depression
  • General anxiety disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • ADHD
  • OCD

Mental health problems have a big impact on the lives of young people, affecting their well-being, quality of life, friendships, and performance in school.

Because the adolescent brain is still developing, unaddressed mental health problems can also affect the development of cognitive skills and emotional responses, such as memory, stress tolerance, social trust, and emotional regulation. These changes can persist into adulthood.

What Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Are Available in Jakarta?

Despite the importance of child and adolescent (CA) mental health treatment, most places in the world don’t offer adequate CA services. In Jakarta, while some services are available, they fall far short of young people’s needs.

In 2017, there were only 55 qualified CA psychiatrists across Indonesia, equivalent to about 0.02 for every 100,000 people. There were also no national CA mental health policy nor guidelines for CA psychiatrist training. 

This means that local, qualified child and adolescent specialists are inaccessible for the vast majority of young people in Jakarta. While CA services across the region and the world are slowly improving, there is still a long way to go, and currently most young people are unable to access the treatment they require and deserve.

Why Are Specialist Child and Adolescent Services So Important?

Children and adolescents both face specific challenges and have unique needs. Most simply, children’s and adolescents brains work differently to adults, affecting the way they experience mental health disorders and their responses to treatments.

They also have different social needs, life challenges (such as identity searching or changing roles in a family), and relationships with doctors, therapists, and mental health professionals.

All of these factors mean that adult mental health programs are drastically unsuitable for young people. Children and adolescents require treatment programs tailored to their developmental age. This doesn’t only include the types of treatment offered, but also the way services are presented and the type of clinical environment.

What Does The Wave Clinic Offer Young People and their Families in Jakarta?

The Wave Clinic is a specialist, private treatment centre dedicated to the needs of young people. Our team is made up of qualified experts from around the world with extensive experience in CA mental health care, including psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors, and social workers. 

We take a whole-person approach to youth mental health care, identifying and addressing underlying concerns to promote meaningful and lasting recovery.

We sensitively and carefully address childhood trauma or other traumatic experiences that may still affect a young person’s inner and outer world, guiding a process of inner healing that can transform their emotions, behaviours, relationships, and futures.

We offer intensive care facilities for young people who require the highest levels of care, including ICU beds and 24-hour medical support. Other young people may stay in our main house with supported, collective living or join us on outpatient programs.

Our programs include:

  • Therapeutic boarding and education
  • Outpatient services
  • Continuing care

Therapeutic Boarding and Education

Our therapeutic boarding and education program offers young people from Jakarta – and all over the world – a transformative recovery experience that combines clinical care with education, social responsibility, and enriching experiences.

We work with young people to develop a stable sense of self and life direction, providing a solid foundation from which they can navigate future challenges.

Our emphasis on education and our personal learning plans ensure that young people gain the skills and qualifications they need to build fulfilling futures.

Alongside exceptional medical and psychological care, our centre offers: 

  • Personal learning programs in conjunction with each young person’s place in education
  • Vocational training and qualifications
  • Short courses and group learning
  • Nutritional programs
  • Gardening groups
  • Traditional skills learning, including jungle survival and home construction
  • Hiking, camping, and white-water rafting

Outpatient Services

The Wave Clinic also works with families and young people from Jakarta through outpatient services. From our centre in Kuala Lumpa, we offer assessments, consultations, appointments, and intensive outpatient care. This might include intensive day programs, regular appointments, or another schedule.

At The Wave, we work with families to assess the appropriate level of care for each young person, following international protocol standards at all times. We take care to identify every young person’s risks and needs, ensuring they receive safe and exemplary treatment.

For families living in Jakarta, we help to arrange transportation to and from our centre – often just a short flight away. Our team can also make home visits to Jakarta to provide our exceptional adolescent health interventions.

Some of our outpatient services include:

  • Child and adolescent psychiatry
  • Psychotherapy and counselling
  • Full online eating disorder program
  • Meal support services
  • Eating disorder psychologists, registered dieticians, and support groups
  • Educational psychologist
  • Educational and schools services
  • Adolescent and young adult interventions
  • Family therapy

Continuing Care

Due to its proximity, families based in Jakarta often make regular visits to our centre for follow-up care. We’re a couple of hours on a plane away for outpatient sessions, appointments, or weekend stays at our centre.

Follow-up visits can help young people reinforce their skills, work through specific challenges, and spend time in person with The Wave’s community.

Alongside in-person visits, we support young people and their families who have left our centre with clear plans and structures for the future.

We develop a plan for a sustainable recovery plan, personalised to each young person, to help them navigate life with our support. We work with the exceptional in-house psychology teams at international schools in Jakarta including psychiatrists, recovery coaches, and therapists alongside therapy groups, activities, classes and movement sessions. 

As with outpatient sessions, our team can also travel to Jakarta for additional support or help arrange transportation to our centre.

Get In Touch

Whether your family is living in Jakarta or another place in the world, we’re here to help. We believe in inclusive, fair, and exemplary treatment for all young people, setting the global standard for youth mental health care. 

If you’d like to find out more about our programs, reach out to us today.

Fiona - The Wave Clinic

Fiona Yassin is the founder and clinical director at The Wave Clinic. She is a U.K. and International registered Psychotherapist and Accredited Clinical Supervisor (U.K. and UNCG).

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