Gotong Royong Utrecht Foundation stopped the mental health support

Yayasan Gotong Royong (YGR) provided monthly financial support for more than two years on a row to help mentally ill people in the north part of Bali since 2009. In July 2011 Gotong Royong will take office in Yogyakarta (Java). Because of a 70% rent raise of the premises in Singaraja Bali and because they are needed more in Yogya where more projects take place, they decided to abandon the Bali office.

“It seems to be the time for YGR to leave the Lost Paradise and leave Bali to the Balinese as prosperity, wealth, consumerism, individualism have created deep roots in society and is threathing culture and religion. This is of course not an issue for foreigners to solve or to influence as they brought the problem with them”, said Made Kornelis Blok as Chairperson of YGR-Utrecht to Professor Luh Ketut Suryani in the beginning of May. “The gold-rush which has been going on for ages now, to come to a climax as real estate business in booming and incredible amounts of money are pumped around. Also a lot of Balinese nouveau riche are taking big advantages of this developments too. We invite them to spend it on the poor and less fortunate inhabitants of their highly praised cash-cow. In a sense we met with greed and corruption from the beginning (2001) but we always found ways to deal with it and stayed out of the shooting range of ill-willed people. As long as we concentrated on the groups we worked with, we managed to keep our inner focus too. Maybe it’s because we got tired, maybe because we found out that a lot of foreigners have ‘social activities’ to lower the stress they experience in living in Bali (being a walking wallet) and to provide some local acceptance by doing a social project.  The money which is involded is not spend on a proper way, but due to language problems and pressure people keep silent. We came to the conclusion that this is not the environment in which we can operate with a high motivation. And although we are highly satisfied with all the projects we are closely involved with (orphanage, scholarships and senior-support) and we can conclude that they have been for sure quite successful, we decided to pull back gradually”, added Made as he pray that the mental health project runs by Suryani Institute will be as successful as ever.


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Australian Volunteers International take action for mental illness in Bali

Australian Volunteers International (AVI) is committed to a vision of a peaceful and just world; a sustainable world, where all people have access to the resources they need, the opportunity to achieve their potential, the right to make decisions about the kind of development they want and to participate in the future of their own communities.  As the program is proudly support by AusAID for Australian volunteers who work in a development capacity overseas, the mentally ill people in Bali has bring their attention to take action.

“We got information from our trusted source that a high number of untreated mental health patient has made Professor Suryani to go to communities and provide direct services to the patients”, said John Hunt as Indonesia Country Manager for AVI during his quick visit to Professor Luh Ketut Suryani headquater in Denpasar.

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New Jersey Psychiatrist bring medicine to Paradise

The first line psychiatric treatment for schizophrenia is antipsychotic medication.  These can reduce the positive symptoms of psychosis. Most antipsychotics take around 7–14 days to have their main effect. Currently available antipsychotics fail, however, to significantly ameliorate the negative symptoms, and the improvements on cognition may be attributed to the practice effect. On regards of the patient’s condition in Bali, most of them been chronically ill for many years with no medication. They left untreated by their families, communities and their own government. Only few of them can still survive with the increase cost of medication, while most of them were hide by the society.

“I felt moved to help the mental health condition in Bali after saw it in the internet”, said Dr Ashok Patel as one of 2500 psychiatrists in New Jersey, USA during his  special visit with the family to see Professor Luh Ketut Suryani. The medicines was collected from sample provided by pharmaceutical company and all of them are the newest drugs on the market. The medicines will be use in combination with individual therapy and family-based intervention.

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Bali’s Governor Cut the Support to Mental Health

Although the work of a small but dedicated team by Professor Luh Ketut Suryani has gain a recognition from outside Bali, but the Governor of Bali decided to cut the budget of mental health for the year 2010 due to unpleasant news about Suryani’s work from irresponsible people. The statement of sorry came out from Mangku Pastika, after Suryani showed the work that been showed by the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), Australia and won an award as the best story of the year 2009 by the United Nation Australia. “I have to cut your budget because some people said that you only teach people singing and having fun in the parlement house without do any treatment, I wish I could see this video earlier”, explain the governor in the special meeting with Suryani and her team (16/12).


“I am just worried that if there’s no more money to support the medication, most of the patients that has been normal will relaps in the matter of time”, said Suryani sadly. With this situation, there  will be little chance that more people can get access to the treatment and more people have to suffer with mental disorder in the island that washed with tourist dollars.