DAA News Network

Indonesia: Caged and chained up: the fate of many people with mental health problems

Posted 22/7-11 at 13.56

PBS NewsHour has produced a hard-hitting programme on the treatment of people with mental health problems in Indonesia.

Yayasan Galuh is an institution near Jakarta, where some 260 patients spend their days on a hard tile surface rimmed by open sewers.

Dozens are locked in a large cage. Others are chained to poles.

sleeping man curled up with chain on foot

Many are naked. The air is thick with their weeping and screaming, and with the stench of human excrement in the intense heat.

Many families lock up their sons or daughters in makeshift cages at home. It is widely believe that they are the victims of dark spirits that need to be exorcised by a combination of massage, prayer and herbal therapy.

There are but few modern treatment options in the country. So into that vacuum, left by the lack of clinics, occupational therapy or modern drugs, moves traditional medicine, which seems to have little impact in helping people or breaking down traditional assumptions about mental illness and the associated stigma for families and individuals.

The video can be see at:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health/july-dec11/mentalhealth_07-18.html

 

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