In The Media


Darkside of Paradise (produced by the Suryani Institute)

This film has been entered into the 2011 APS Film Festival run by the Association for Psychological Science. Professor Luh Ketut Suryani Ph.D is a Balinese psychiatrist and the director and founder of the Suryani Institute for Mental Health. In an attempt to communicate the seriousness of the mental illness situation in Bali and plea for help, the institute recorded and photographed a large number of such cases, and made this short, 4-minute documentary, which was presented to over 1,000 elders, Indonesian government officials, and local MPs, on 11 May 2008. However, they still believe the message fell on deaf ears. (click on title to watch)

Bali’s Shame (SBS, Australia)

Beyond the beauty of Bali’s sand and surf lies an ugly and untreated problem of terrible treatment of Bali’s mentally ill, who are often chained up for years on end by their families. The problem is made worse by Bali’s severe lack of facilities. There is just one mental hospital on the island, and only 30 beds are reserved for the poor. Komang’s father says the hospital advised him to restrain his son, but the hospital’s staff firmly deny this. Dr. Luh Ketut Suryani, Bali’s leading psychiatrist 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. In October 2009, this documetary won the United Nations Association of Australia Media Peace Award, in the Television Current Affairs category. (click on title to watch)


Bali Miracle Worker (SBS, Australia)

When video journalist David O’Shea visited Bali in May 2009, he found a desperate group of mentally ill people chained up for years by their families… and a courageous woman trying to help them. Now he’s returned to Indonesia for Dateline to see what psychiatrist, Prof. Luh Ketut Suryani, has been able to achieve, and he’s amazed by the results. (click on title to watch)


Bali: Vom Dämon besessen (Arte+7, Germany)

Wer in Bali seine geistige Gesundheit verliert, der kann auf keine Hilfe zählen. Im schlimmsten Falle schließen seine Angehörigen ihn in Ketten, klemmen seine Füße in einen Holzblock oder sperren ihn in einen Käfig. Eine Psychologin hat sich vorgenommen, den “Verrückten” auf Bali zu helfen. Sie reist über die Insel, um sie zu befreien. (click on title to watch)


Français à Bali : bons plans au paradis (Enquête Exclusive, France)

“We feel Professor Luh Ketut Suryani’s work in community is indispensable and hugely important, we think it helps to improve the human rights of mentally ill patients, which is urgently needed all over the world”, said Laurent Delhomme as the editor and producer at YemaYa production that produced and distributed numerous films on French and international channels during his visit with Professor Suryani to community. Emily, Charlotte, Alban: three French do business or in humanitarian and they have made Bali their piece of paradise. They know a paradise threatened (click on title to watch)

Child sex tourists taking advantage of post-bombing Bali poverty (ABC, Australia)

Child welfare advocates are warning that since the Kuta attacks and subsequent economic crisis, Bali has become an attractive destination for paedophiles, especially from Australia. Southeast Asia ABC correspondent Peter Lloyd reports. Read more…


The Children of Paradise – Special Encore Presentation! (Voice America)

Cheryl Esposito welcomes Dr. Luh Ketut Suryani, M.D., Ph.D. a renowned Balinese healer, highly acclaimed western-trained psychiatrist and a leader in bridging indigenous Balinese knowledge and values with the western world… Dr. Suryani shares her insight into the growing problem the youth of Bali face as they try to blend the world of you-tube and MTV with life in paradise. (click on title to listen)


Hell in Paradise: Mental health care in Bali (ABC Radio, Australia)

Bali is a tropical holiday paradise, but there’s a darker side few tourists witness. People with mental illness being chained, caged, or shackled by their family members, often in shocking conditions. All in the Mind joins the rural rounds of prominent local psychiatrist Dr Suryani, as she meets and speaks with families, determined to make a difference. (click on title to listen)


Mentally Ill in Indonesia Still Live In Chains (NPR Radio, United States)

The harsh, tropical sunlight that dapples Bali’s tourist-thronged beaches streams through the fingers of a palm leaf and lands on the shoulders of Nengah, who slumps like a rag doll amid a pile of tattered pillows in the island’s far eastern reaches. (click on title to listen)



7,000 suffer severe mental illness; Survey(The Jakarta Post)

As many as 7,000 individuals in Bali suffer from various types of severe mental illness, with many subjected to physical abuse by their families, according to a 2008 survey conducted by the Suryani Institute for Mental Health. Read more…

Imprisoned in paradise(The Guardian, UK)

A handsome man smiling out from his wedding pictures, it is easy to see how Komang was able to keep his history of mental health problems a secret from his new wife for so long… This article was shortlisted in the 2010 International Development Journalism Competition. Read more…

Indonesia: mentally ill still live in chains (Global Post, US)

ABANG, Indonesia — The harsh, tropical sunlight that dapples Bali’s tourist-thronged beaches streams through the fingers of a palm leaf and lands on the shoulders of Nengah, who slumps like a rag doll amid a pile of tattered pillows in the island’s far eastern reaches. Read more…

Bali Is a Paradise Lost for the Island’s Mentally Ill (The Jakarta Globe, Indonesia)

Amid the frangipani trees and the coconut groves in the jungles of Karangasem, East Bali, Wayan Wenten has been trapped in medieval stocks for almost a decade in a small room that reeks of urine and feces. It’s a side of life in Bali that the tourists never see — mentally ill Balinese held for years like animals in chains, cages and the immobilizing stocks. Read more…

300 mentally-ill still shackled in Bali(The Jakarta Post)

A local NGO has divulged that as many as 300 mentally-ill people are still confined with wooden stocks by their families across the island and is urging the provincial administration to design a humane and comprehensive approach in dealing with mentally-ill persons. Read more…

Leave a Reply