All over the world, people with mental illness are subject to poor-quality care and violations of their human rights. Mental health services in Bali and in Indonesia fail to integrate evidence-based treatment and practices, resulting in poor recovery outcomes. The stigma associated with these conditions means that people experience exclusion, rejection and marginalization by society.
“It is critical to improve quality of human rights in order to change this situation”, said Professor Luh Ketut Suryani during her regular visit to her catchment area of community mental health services in Abang, Karangasem. A comprehensive and regular visit can help to identify problems in existing mental health care practices and to plan effective means to ensure that the services are of good quality, respectful of human rights, responsive to the users’ requirements and promote the users’ autonomy, dignity and right to self-determination, add Dr Cokorda Lesmana as the secretary of the institute.
“We need to modify the old system of mental health that only want to use hospital based intervention”, explain Professor Suryani with hope that the government of Indonesia and Bali willing to take the risk for changes. The situation in inpatient facilities is often far worse: people may be locked away for weeks, months and sometimes years in psychiatric hospitals or social care homes, where they experience terrible living conditions and are subject to dehumanizing, degrading treatment, including violence and abuse. “It’s time to make a change”, said Dr Lesmana as he hopes that the lives of people with mental illness in Bali will have a better quality when the integrated and community-based intervention put on works.
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.
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.
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.
“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?
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.