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Mental illness treated with chains not doctors by Bali poor
Komang, who is diagnosed with Schizophrenia, sits in her room in Buleleng, Bali, Indonesia where she is chained by her own family so she doesn't run away and disturb the community. Komang comes from a poor family with six siblings and has been chained off and on for years while taking medication for her illness.Paula Bronstein / Getty Images
Many poor families in Bali, Indonesia don't have money to pay for hospitalization or doctors, and inside the spiritual Balinese society there is often a stigma and misinformation about mental illness.
Many Balinese feel it’s the work of the supernatural and their hope of solving the mental disorder is left to a “Balian,” a traditional healer, to cure.
The Indonesian health ministry spends 2.3 percent of the total national budget on health care for a population of approximately 240 million people and has a shortage of psychiatrists and one government run mental hospital in Bali.