Mental illness is heavily stigmatised in Indonesia, with many communities believing mental illness to be a consequence of not being religious enough. It is often viewed as the presence of evil and something to be afraid of or the patient’s perceived karma.
This often results in many families resorting to pasung, the forceful confinement of a mentally ill individual, most often outdoors, in appalling conditions. The practice of pasung completely robs the individual of their dignity and leads to the worsening of their condition. Although this practice was made illegal in 1977, it is rarely enforced. 15% of individuals with mental illnesses have been subjected to pasung at least once. It is likely that these numbers are much higher as most people with a mental illness are hidden by their families.
Recognising the current dire situation many people are enduring due to a lack of adequate care, Solemen works to reach as many people who desperately need support, whilst fighting against the stigma surrounding mental illness.
One of Solemen’s dreams is to eradicate pasung. Help make this dream true.