Disorder: Indonesia’s Mental Health Facilities by Andrea Star Reese

Posted on September 4, 2013

Galuh Foundation, located on the outskirts of Jakarta, is licensed by Indonesia’s government. No one is turned away if they cannot pay. Galuh receives enough rice, noodles and cooking oil for two months from the local government, the totality of all current government support. Medications are not available. Andrea Star Reese

Pasung is the Indonesian term for restraints or restrained. It is used to refer to shackles, but can also refer to being locked in a room or confined in a shed or animal pen.

From January 2011 through the end of 2012, I spent time photographing people in Indonesia being held in homes, shelters, schools and hospitals. Many had not been seen by a psychiatrist or diagnosed with mental illness, stress or a physical condition that might explain symptoms or behaviors they exhibited.

Pasung, banned in 1977, is the widespread traditional response to mental disturbances like these. People resort to pasung when they cannot afford care, fear medications, want to avoid the stigma attached to a diagnosis of mental illness, or most commonly, feel it is necessary to protect family, community and the disturbed individual.

ANDREA STAR REESE Is currently at work on her on going series, The Urban Cave, documenting chronic homeless men and women of New York City, and in post-production on a series of documentary film shorts filmed in Indonesia. website

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Category(s):Mental Health in Asia

Source material from Time


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