How others treat the mentally ill

This is what mental health care looks like in Indonesia.

indonesia_mental_health2_wide.jpg

NPR.org has the hard-to-fathom look at what happens to the mentally ill in Indonesia. It’s a post today that originated at Global Post.

Nengah, whose full name is confidential, suffers from schizophrenia. After the 35-year-old violently attacked her stepmother in a blind rage nine years ago, her family decided they had to restrain her.

Her situation improved after local psychiatrist Luh Ketut Suryani arrived in the village in June to find Nengah naked, caged and filthy. The doctor consulted the family and prescribed medication. Later, Suryani helped get Nengah’s family to free her from bondage.

Nengah’s situation is not unique in Indonesia, where the mentally ill are often locked in chicken coops or chained up in family yards to prevent them from disturbing the community.

  • Allie

    Here in the US, we just cut them loose with little social or financial support, and many with mental illness end up homeless and drifting.

    Maybe we could re-brand this lack of support as “free-range mental health care.” We’re so progressive in the US.

  • Jim Shapiro

    From each according to his ability.

    In the impoverished, ignorant developing world, they often attempt to protect society from the frightening unknown of mental illness in horrific ways.

    Here health insurance frequently doesn’t sufficiently cover for mental health care, or we medicate the mentally ill into oblivion to make them more “manageable”.

    Both cases are tragic and unacceptable.