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.
The dedicated Outreach team brings life-changing health care and social services to individuals and families living with mental illness all around Bali.
Solemen works closely with local psychiatrists and nurses to provide much needed medical intervention. Their psychiatrist assesses patients, prescribes the necessary medication, and monitors the progress of the Solebuddies. Solemen’s registered nurse administers all the necessary prescribed medications. The end-goal is to rehabilitate and reintegrate these individuals into their communities, and Solemen have had great success in doing this. Solemen support their Solebuddies and their families throughout the process, and continue to care for them once they have been reintegrated into their community, often taking many years.
The care provided goes beyond much-needed health care and social services. Solemen always endeavour to improve the overall wellbeing and happiness of the Solebuddies and their families, ensuring they live fulfilling and happy lives. Food parcels are provided to improve their nutrition and homes are renovated or rebuilt to ensure safe and comfortable living environments. Families are supported and guided to ensure their loved one’s care is optimized.
Individuals living with a mental illness often face barriers attaining proper and adequate care because of the fear and stigma surrounding mental health issues in Indonesia.
Solemen work to educate and raise awareness of this among families and communities in Bali. You can support Solemen by kindly making a monetary donation, donating items, or by sponsoring a Solebuddy.