Suryani Institute for Mental Health

Suryani Institute for Mental Health

Last year, Dateline’s David O’Shea showed us a side of Bali life that the tourists who flock there never see, mentally ill Balinese held like animals in chains, cages and even medieval stocks – in this day and age, almost unbelievable. Later last year, word reached Dateline that there’d been some ‘good news’ developments to that story. Intrigued, our man O’Shea went back to Bali and discovered that the work of one good Samaritan psychiatrist and her team had resulted in dramatic improvements in their patience, but that progress it seems, has come at a pretty hefty price.

David accompanies Bali’s leading psychiatrist, Dr. Luh Ketut Suryani, as she goes from village to village visiting her patients and providing them with treatment. Her holistic approach combines modern psychiatry and anti-psychotic drugs with Balinese spiritualism.Dr Suryani is Bali’s leading psychiatrist and the only one regularly getting out into the villages. After SBS went to air last year, she finally received 1 billion rupiah, or about $120,000, from Bali’s governor – enough to treat over 300 patients for one year. But, then, in December, he slashed that budget by 90% without consulting her, apparently after listening to jealous critics of her program. Dr Suryani knows her patients won’t be able to afford the expensive medicine she’s been giving out for free. But, with the governor’s money drying up, she needs to find out whether the families can afford to pay at least some of the cost.

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Posted by cokyaya On March - 22 - 2010 News

The SunTrust Auditorium in the Crummer building was jam packed with people who had come to hear a presentation by Thomas P. Johnson Distinguished Visiting Scholars Dr. Luh Ketut Suryani and Dr. Cokorda Bagus Jaya Lesmana. This mother and son pair from the island of Bali in Indonesia brought the Balinese focus on harmony to the foreground while raising awareness of “The Dark Side of Paradise.”

Professor of Philosophy & Religion Hoyt Edge has been collaborating with Suryani and Lesmana for over a decade on cross-cultural research on studies in meditation and in psychological processes, trying to understand the difference between Western individualism and Balinese collectivism.  He encouraged them to come share their knowledge with the Rollins community.

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Now retired from her position as head psychiatrist at Udayana University in Bali, Suryani is the founder of the Suryani Institute for Mental Health. She champions inner personal peace that comes from balancing the mind, body, and most importantly, the spirit. As part of her work, she holds group relaxation and meditation sessions designed to calm the participants. Song and dance also play a key role in her effort to bring people back to their forgotten happiness from childhood. Suryani described the positive affect and self-awareness gained through meditation and trance states. “If we are creative and try to see the positive in things, the world is a brighter place,” she said.

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Posted by cokyaya On February - 26 - 2010 News

Deux visions s’affrontent dans l’imaginaire occidental à propos de Bali. Pour certains, c’est le tourisme de masse, les boîtes de nuit, les plages à surfeurs et la prostitution. Pour d’autres, ce sont les paysages somptueux, les temples, la méditation et la quête de spiritualité.

Ces deux univers cohabitent d’ailleurs étrangement dès la descente de l’avion. Entre les boutiques à touristes, les salons de massage et les bars branchés, les divinités hindoues sont présentes à chaque coin de rue. Partout, des statues grimaçantes, des paniers à offrandes et des encens capiteux. Mais l’histoire qui nous intéresse est au-delà de tous ces contrastes. Elle se déroule à plusieurs heures de route de la capitale, Denpasar. Au coeur des jungles et des rizières. Là où des malades mentaux vivent prisonniers dans des cages, enchaînés ou le pied immobilisé dans de lourdes entraves de bois.

Très vite, nous laissons la ville derrière nous. La route se transforme en piste et les essaims de mobylettes cèdent la place aux charrettes à mesure que nous nous enfonçons dans les terres. Pour cette première expédition dans les villages isolés, le docteur Suryani et son fils Yaya ont tenu à nous accompagner. Les familles des enchaînés ne se laissent pas approcher facilement. Sur la route, nous avons le temps de regarder quelques clichés des malades mentaux que nous allons rencontrer. Difficile de ne pas ressentir un profond malaise à la vue du sort qui leur est réservé.

Notre première rencontre avec la folie a lieu au détour d’une clairière, après une lente marche à travers la jungle. La chaleur est étouffante. Plus de 44°. Pas un souffle de vent. Devant nous : une ferme misérable, un cochon, quelques poulets… Dans cette région oubliée par le développement touristique, les paysans ont bien du mal à survivre. La misère, l’endettement, la pression des usuriers les étranglent toujours un peu plus. Stress et dépression sont monnaie courante dans les campagnes balinaises.

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Posted by cokyaya On February - 14 - 2010 News

As part of community services, Suryani Institute made an effort to educate young people able to do more advance statistic. Inviting our international member from Sydney, Dr Niko Tiliopoulos, BSc(Hons), MRes/Dip, PhD, CSci, had trained 20 young professional to understand more about binary logistic regresion. The workshop was held in Computer Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, Udayana University. “I want to introduce that statistic is not a scary things, it’s a simple tool to make our life more simple in understanding science”, said Dr Niko.

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Posted by cokyaya On February - 12 - 2010 News