“The practice of shackling mentally-ill people still exists and eliminating it is one of our priorities for 2013,” Diah Setia Utami, director of mental health at the Health Ministry, told IRIN, noting that the country’s “serious” shortage of mental health professionals has been one of the biggest obstacles.

When you enter the compound at the Galuh Foundation, it’s like walking back into the dark ages, leaving modern Indonesia behind.

The people who work at Galuh say at any given time about 10% of the 280 residents here are shackled – but they say it’s for their own good.

NY based photographer Andrea Star Reese spent 2011-2012 investigating the conditions of Indonesia’s mental health facilities for her 2013 documentary “Disorder.”

“Walking in the door has been easy, even when conditions were horrifying, and they often are,” Reese revealed to Feature Shoot. “Leaving is what is difficult and disturbing. I am continuing this documentation because conditions remain critical, progress is slow, and Indonesia’s government does pay attention to the International press. International and National NGO’s are using my photographs and reports to further their efforts. I cannot leave this story”

agus

 

Agus sings in his cage. Keepers won’t let him out fearing he would run away, so this cage has become his permanent home
evis hallucinations
Evi’s hallucinations started when she was fifteen. Her parents paid for the wooden bed and Islamic approach to her treatment
galuh foundation
Galuh Foundation in Jakarta, Indonesia is licensed by the government. No one is turned away, but government provides only two months of food, there is no actual housing, only a cage-like pavilion, where men and women are separated by a wire wall
muhammed
Muhammad (left) is performing a mass healing. For the whole day and night the patients will drink herbal drinks, pray, vomit and eventually enter hypnotic trance
anne
For ten years Anne was held in a room without a window and according to her father she didn’t need to eat much. She used to like running, but now she cannot stand
keeping patients in cages
Keeping patients in cages has become a common practice
lack of food
Lack of food is a reality that patients have to face every day
saimun
Saimun has been living with a wooden leg restraint for 5 year. He’s forty, cannot talk and lives with his brother who is also mentally impaired. They and their mother are completely dependant on charity of their neighbors
boarding school staff trained to deal
Boarding school staff is trained to deal with extreme situations with their students (left). Seapudin’s (on the right) legs have been in restraints for 9 years. The muscles have atrophied because of the lack of use
patients lack food and clothes
Patients lack food, clothes, exercise, social interactions
facility maintenance
There is no financing for basic things like food, so more expensive projects like facilities’ maintenance is out of the question
no shower
Patients’ lives are limited by a confined space where they do everything: eat, sleep, shower
healing sessions
Some families’ of the patients have paid for special healing sessions that usually take a spiritual approach
woman in shackles
Young woman in shackles at Bina Lestari Foundation (left). Wediodining Lawang Psychiatric Hospital (right) has been recognized as the best mental hospital in Indonesia. It is the first hospital to realize the need for a geriatric department
bed
A bed is one of the biggest luxuries a patient can have
social interactions
Social interactions are rare and are not done systematically
wediodining lawang
Wediodining Lawang Psychiatric Hospital – named as the best mental hospital in Indonesia
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“The practice of shackling mentally-ill people still exists and eliminating it is one of our priorities for 2013,” Diah Setia Utami, director of mental health at the Health Ministry, told IRIN, noting that the country’s “serious” shortage of mental health professionals has been one of the biggest obstacles. When you...