Suryani Institute for Mental Health

Suryani Institute for Mental Health

In the celebration of the 69th Indonesian Independence Day, all Indonesian people remember and try to feel how the nation’s warriors along with the people across the country fought to gain independence from colonial Japan and the Netherlands. They proclaimed freedom and independence of the Nation of Indonesia on August 17, 1945 through Soekarno-Hatta. It was justice, rich, and prosperous. Unfortunately, there are still many who have not felt fair and prosperous. They are chained on the island paradise, Bali on the 69th Indonesia’s Independence Day. For those reason an International Photo Exhibition is held in Bali as a “humanitarian issue” in psychological and psychiatric points of view which reduces to become an important point of the economic conditions, public ignorance, and lack of support from the government ass the healing barrier of the mentally ill.

“This event not only emphasizes the beauty of the visual world, and also contains a message of awareness, especially to remind us all of the phenomena in the environment, and about our brothers and sisters who are chained due to his/her psychic disturbances”, said Warih Wisatsana from Bentara Budaya Bali as he welcomed the collaboration with Suryani Institute for Mental Health, a concern or awareness of art as worthy as other arts events. The exhibition will open from August 19-24, 2014 at Bentara Budaya Bali.


The thirteen photographers are Alexandre Dupeyron (Germany), Alit Kertaraharja (Indonesia), Brice Richard (UK), Cameron Herweynen (Australia), Christian Werner (Germany), Cokorda Bagus Jaya Lesmana (Indonesia), Djaya Tjandra Kirana (Indonesia), Fanny Tondre (France), Giulio Paletta (Italy), Ingetje Tadros (Australia), Luciano Checco (Italy), Nadia Janisz (Australia), and Rudi Waisnawa (Indonesia). The photos presented contain a profound message. The faces may seem isolated, but are full of implied call for caring, and an invitation to share a concern. It is a human touch that reminds us we are a one large whole family of mankind. The photographer, as initiator and implementer of activity at the Suryani Institute for Mental Health was determined to bring the figures stuck as subjects in the event; not merely reference objects or aesthetic inspiration for the photographer.

“I hope the exposure in this international photo exhibition can provide insight and inspiration for those who have family or friends who are experiencing severe mental disorder. They are our families who need a helping hand to free them from the world that he himself does not understand”, said Professor Luh Ketut Suryani as the Founder/Director of Suryani Institute for Mental Health.

Posted by cokyaya On July - 25 - 2014 Mental Health Project News

The Swiss Health Observatory reported in August 2007 that 55 per cent of the population said they felt emotionally stable, up ten per cent on 1992. The number of people suffering from minor troubles like disturbed sleep patterns or nervous tension, as well as those with severe chronic problems dropped at the same time. However, more people have been consulting mental health professionals. Men are also more likely to see a specialist than women. Reduced stigma, better treatment and more understanding in the medical profession are said to be the reasons. Unfortunately those situation is far from near with the reality of mental health situation in Bali.

“A large number of mentally ill people in Bali are essentially abandoned, permanently kept under restrains, chained or in makeshift cages by their families, or community (pasung)”, said Professor Luh Ketut Suryani to Fritz Schaap a Switzerland journalist who sure that an article in a Swiss magazine will generate decent fund to help the Balinese people. “The conditions all these individuals are kept in would have been considered inhumane even for livestock in the West”, comment Fritz to Suryani during a shocking visit to meet the reality in Bali.



“The practice of pasung in Bali is a disgrace to our culture and a direct gross violation of human rights, while it has also contributed to the rise of suicide cases in Bali (approximately 150 suicides per year)”, add Suryani with misery. World Health Organization (WHO) has projected that, by the year 2030, mental disorders will be one of the leading causes of the global disease burden. Mental disorders are associated with significant long-term disability and decreased physical and psycho-social functioning. Poor mental health significantly contributes to a cycle of poverty, wherein people who experience social hardship and poverty are at an increased risk of mental illness, and conversely those with mental illness are at an increased risk of poverty. While most countries have mental health policies and plans, and many have mental health legislation, the standards and quality of mental health service provision vary widely between and within countries. Stigma associated with psychiatric conditions and lack of community acceptance of mental illness remains a major barrier throughout the region. Can Switzerland help to change mental health situation in Bali?

Posted by cokyaya On December - 3 - 2013 Mental Health Project News

Mental disorders’ treatment in Indonesia uses a hospital-based institution approach. Unfortunately, this approach is rather inadequate and incapable of providing the much needed mental health service to the population. As a result of this functional failure of this mental health model, many untreated mentally ill individuals are abandoned, permanently restrained, chained, or placed in cages by their families (pasung). Recently, the Indonesian government acknowledged the severity of the problem and is currently setting up plans and preparing to allocate funds to address the issue. Unfortunately in Bali, this program is still not a priority.

For those reasons, ARD (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland) is a federation of one national and ten regional public broadcasting stations that reach over 72 million people in about 34 million German households trying to help the Balinese. In a cooperative effort, these stations produce the content for the national ‘First German Television’ channel, eight regional TV channels, and over 50 national and regional radio channels, including radio programs in 12 different languages for foreigners. Norbert Lubbers, ARD Singapore contributor flew to Bali to meet Professor Luh Ketut Suryani and her team to uncover the truth.





“I try to explain to them that we are really trying to help the patient and the family. They chain him so not because they enjoy it. They do it because they are afraid, afraid that he is violent, fear that she is doing something to someone”, said Professor Luh Ketut Suryani during her visit to one of the patient whom the family still reluctant to release. The assessment of mental health and the treatment of mental illness have been neglected in many of the Bali region for a very long time. Reaching an appropriate level of care for the mentally ill will require much effort and partnerships for which Professor Suryani’s works has laid a foundation can thus help the enhancement of the health of the Balinese people. ” We are planning to help the Balinese by bringing this awareness to a more broader audience and hoping to generate more funding for the institute”, said Norbert with tears after he saw the reality in the island of paradise, Bali.

Posted by cokyaya On September - 10 - 2013 Mental Health Project News

All persons with a mental illness, or who are being treated as such persons, shall be treated  with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.  They have the right to protection from economic, sexual and other forms of exploitation, physical or other abuse and degrading treatment. ZDF, as a public-service German television broadcaster based in Mainz (Rheinland-Pfalz) and an independent non-profit institution trying to help the people with mental disorder in Bali who suffering from human right violation.

“Regardless our efforts, still our aim is certainly not for us to become internationally famous, but simply to help these people who are in dire need. Thus, ultimately we want the world to know, so the government (any government) will be “forced” to act in a prudent and sustainable manner, resulting in the minimisation if not prevention of such tragedy from happening again in Bali and hopefully elsewhere in the world”, explained Professor Luh Ketut Suryani to Ulrike Eichin from ZDF, Germany together with Professor Gerhard Trabert during their visit to community where people with mental disorder still treated in inhuman condition.



“The film will be broadcasted in different television programs of ZDF (which is the biggest TV company in Europe), and there is a very good chance, that this will have positive implications – for the people in dire need and for your political intentions”, said Ulrike in relation to help Suryani Institute fight against discrimination and human right violation to the people with mental illness in Bali.  Comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation is also needed to protect people with mental disabilities in both the public  and private spheres. Every patient shall have the right to be treated and cared for, as far as possible, in the community in which he or she lives with treatment suited to his or her cultural background. “We have WHO representative in Indonesia but they seem to set no priority for this situation”, add Professor Suryani in a hopeless voice.

Posted by cokyaya On August - 16 - 2013 Mental Health Project News