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Patients with Mental Disorder Under Home Restraint: Progress and Challenge of Release

WithMarthoenis, Sarifah Yessi

Restraint and confinement of people with mental disorders is still common in Indonesia. This paper aims at uncovering the condition of patients with mental disorder who were restrained at home, the progress and challenges in their release from restraints in the province of Aceh, Indonesia. This study uses secondary data that were extracted from Aceh provincial health office annual report on Aceh Free Pasung Program. The data includes the results from Focused Group Discussions among health practitioners that were conducted to unveil the challenges of releasing patients from restraints in the community and monthly report on patients’ condition from community health centers to the provincial health office. A total of 129 patients with mental disorders were in restraint throughout 2016. Sixty-five (50.4%) of them were once released but then placed back into restraint, while others 46 (35.7%) had never been released since they were restrained. Socio-economic conditions, low literacy and stigma towards mental illness of the family and community are among the factors that delay the release of such patients from restraints. Efforts to release the patients from restraint were rather unsuccessful. The findings call for further investigations.