UWM 2013 Study Tour in Search for Community-based Mental Health

The Suryani Institute for Mental Health were known for their community-based mental health intervention. The innovative method, which coined the “biopyschospirit-sociocultural” approach to psychiatry. It combines meditation and spiritualism with modern psychological tools and practices. This unique approach starts to attract  attention from School of Psychology at Widya Mandaya University (UWM), Surabaya. After their first visit to the institute in 2012, the school continue their collaboration by sending more students and faculty members to learn more about community-based mental health intervention.

“We bring 80 psychology students and 4 faculty members to learn from first hand about the unique method of community-based mental health”, said Yuni Apsari, M.Si, Psi during the meeting with the Suryani Institute on 10 Jan, at their community campus, Wantilan DPRD Bali.

UWM Bali 2013

UWM 2013

During the meeting, the Director of International Relationship of Suryani Institute, Dr Niko Tiliopoulos were giving an inspiring thought on how to share the passion and compassion to people with mental illness in low and middle income country (LAMIC) such as Indonesia. “I am surprised that school of psychology from Java willing to come to Bali to learn about this unique approach while the psychology school here in Bali never wants to learn about this amazing work on dealing with large number of people suffering from mental illness in the community”, said Dr Niko during his talk. Professor Luh Ketut Suryani and Dr Cokorda Lesmana also participate on the meeting.

Consciousness, Culture, and Community in Bali 2013

Thirteen students from  University of Vermont, USA flew to Bali to learn about Consciousness, Culture, and Community in Bali. The participants were graduate & undergraduate students, professionals, and other individuals interested in a transformative travel opportunity lead by David Osgood Ed.D, M.P.H, and Carla Osgood, EdD. The course provided opportunities to develop intercultural communication skills including cultural awareness, cultural adaptation, cultural empathy and non-evaluative listening. In addition students had opportunities to develop skills in the domain of consciousness or transcultural communication.

“Our students were honor to have the opportunity learning from a Balinese psychiatrist, healer, and activist, Prof. Luh Ketut Suryani with her rich experience combining both traditional and contemporary approaches to what she calls bio-psycho-spirit-socio-cultural well being”, said Dr Osgood during the time in Nirarta sanctuary.

UVM Bali 2013

UVM 2013

“I am happy that western people willing to learn about my culture, but in the same time I feel sad that my own people start to forget their own culture”, said Professor Suryani after share her wisdom and knowledge on spirituality. More and more western people come to Bali teach yoga and meditation as their business while the Balinese share their knowledge with heart without thinking any profit. Life is balance and harmony in Bali, but for how long this balance can still be in balance?

Thank You 2012

On behalf of Suryani Institute for Mental Health, the board members would like to thank you very much for your valued support of the institute in year 2012. These are some sponsors that had giving their effort in the success of treating mentally ill people in the Balinese community in 2012, Stiftung Bredtmanns Spuren (Germany),  Denmark Community (Western Australia), Ann Fisher (Melbourne, Australia), Hellen (Holland), Lisette Sprengers (Croatia), Mandiri Bank (Indonesia), Cokorda Istri Dewi (Indonesia), Sukmawati, MD (Indonesia), Rumi, MD (Indonesia), Kacang Matahari (Bali), Duta Orchid (Bali) and some other sponsors that do not want their name to be mention.

We look forward to working with you in 2013.

There are still 220 patients need regular support in east Bali region.



When compassion brings changes: lesson from Bali’s playground

It’s hard to ask people to imagine that Bali has many hidden secret for their mental health condition. Chaining is a practice that is considered abusive and in humane in the western countries, but in Bali and in most of the under developed countries, this kind of practice is tolerated and no one speaks for the mentally ill people who are chained. The regular practice of chaining continues to compromise the dignity and human rights of people with mental disorders and hamper the quality of mental health services in Bali.  The lack of trained mental health workers and the unwillingness of the government to spend resources on the mental health system are two obstacles that the people of Bali need to overcome.

“Setting up free one person is already a miracle for me and my team since there is no financial and resources support for this works”, said Professor Luh Ketut Suryani during the tearful and joyful moment of cutting the patient’s chained that had been on his feet for 7 years. The team was delightful and feel over the moon to see the chained being cut and sense of relief from the patient after one month prior discovering the patient.

“Chaining patients is unacceptable, in humane and un-necessary, because there are alternatives to chaining. The best way to help people, who are mentally ill, is to make effective treatments accessible for them and that is something that the government unwilling to set”, said Professor Suryani full with regret.  “A community mental health model has been showed and developed by Suryani Institute for Mental Health in the peaceful island Bali  that offers a fair and effective service to the population but none of the international development partners with whom the institute tried to contact, such as the World Bank and USAID, had mental health services on their agendas”, add Dr Cokorda Bagus Jaya Lesmana as the secretary of the institute.