In some countries, including Indonesia, mental illnesses are still taboo. Especially in rural areas, we often encounter their imprisonment in unbearable conditions. The Indonesian practice of imprisonment and restricting mentally ill people is called “Pasung“. Although this term has been prohibited since 1977, it is still used. Family members are sometimes embarrassed by other family members suffering from schizophrenia or another mental illness and are oftentimes closed in rooms, which become a prison for them or they are thrown into a place that they cannot escape from.

Andrea Star Reese, a photographer, who investigated the conditions in Indonesia’s mental health facilities from 2011-2012, documented the shocking practices.

Andrea claims: 

“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”

Below, you can see some photographs, which will literally give you goose bumps.

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