Mental Health in Crisis
Indonesia has a population of approximately 240 million people, the country has a shortage of psychiatrists and the health ministry spends 2.3 percent of the total national budget on health care, less than 1 percent of that amount is put toward mental health services. These vulnerable people with mental disorders are stigmatized and are subject to neglect and abuse, many patients barely getting psychosocial assistance and regular medication which is vital to their stability. The vacation mecca of Bali has one government run mental hospital that can only reach out to a small portion of the population. Inside the rich Balinese spiritual culture there is often a stigma and misinformation about mental illness. Some people feel that this is the work of the supernatural so their hope to solve the mental disorder is to let the “Balian” a traditional healer do his work. When it comes to the physically handicapped, especially those born with deformities some believe that they may embody bad spirits from those who have lived before. With limited resources and lack of government support many poor families give up after the mental patient relapses turning to restraints so that their family member doesn’t run away and disturb the community.