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    • Gabriela Bhaskar

      Thank you Alessandra! You are amazing! I will definitely be making updates! As the story progresses!

  • Folakemi Odoaje

    Thank you for this article. This is our story in Nigeria too! Mental health patients are seen as evil possessed individuals and were ousted from society. It is worse in Nigeria, I think as you can see mental illness patients on the road sleeping rough. Nigeria has a population of over 170 million people, as far as I know the country has major 4 psychiatry hospitals where serious cases are treated - it is no wonder our streets are flooded with folks with problems. I recently learnt about a ward in Ibadan hospital (UCH) that runs a small but very helpful mental illness program. I grew up thinking it is normal to see these folks on the road, they are in our villages, towns and cities. The most appalling part is that presently in Nigeria, each state government is profiling them on the road, and are actively transporting everyone with mental illness the state government perceived to be from a different state to their state origin, this is because the state government wanted to have 'clean image', how dehumanising to say the least. I wrote a piece about health and sanitation in Nigeria, whereby I briefly talked about mental illness, it is a topic that got less attention and I want to draw awareness to this.

    • Gabriela Bhaskar


      I recommend you take a look at the work Robin Hammond has done. Perhaps he can be a better resource than I, as his work in centered about Africa, and because he has covered the situation there.

      Good luck to you. I had heard of similar cases in Ghana, and it does not surprise to me hear that just nearby you are struggling with this also.

      As per your piece about health and sanitation, I hope your needs are addressed because it is an awful thing to think that most children that die in the developing world, die from dehydration due to diarrhea, and most of the times its because diseases are spread through infected feces that gets in contact with drinking water.

      Thank you for reading our article! As you said, it is a very serious issue that is not often highlighted when discussing health.

      Stan and I only have 9 days to go for our kickstarter campaign, and are not very close to our goal!

      Spread the word if you can :)

  • Jeetendra Khatiwoda

    This gives insights on "perception of mental illness". I am trying to write a script for a feature film based on the idea of normality vs abnormality of human behavior.Good wishes to the campaign. Cheers

    • Gabriela Bhaskar

      Hey! Thanks for the well wishes. Both Stan and I are incredibly touched by these people's stories and would really love the opportunity to tell them.

      We only have 9 days to go and are well behind our goal, so the wishes are much need!

      I hope you aren't offended by any verbage in this article,

  • Network4Africa

    It's great that you've taken the time to learn about the cultural attitudes surrounding mental illness in Indonesia. It seems that one of the common threads that runs through many cultures' beliefs about mental ill health is, unfortunately, the stigma surrounding it. Looking forward to learning more through your film, best of luck!

    • Gabriela Bhaskar

      Thank you for taking time to read about it! Through our project we also hope to highlight organizations that are working around these cultural barriers to provide care and services for those that battle with mental illness.

      You seem to be familiar with this topic already but if you are interested and have yet to see this photo story but Robin Hammond, please do take a look.

      We really hope we can finish this documentary! Just 10 more days to meet our goal on kickstarter.

      Thanks again for the well wishes!

  • Ross Mytton

    Great story! Can't wait to see the finished project. Have already made my contribution on kickstarter!!!

    • Alessandra Rizzotti

      That's wonderful. In a way you're contributing to the conversation about mental health, which is so important, since people are often afraid to talk about it.

      • Ross Mytton

        Thanks Alessandra! I have had both close friends and family struggle with mental health and be hesitant to discuss it in the US. Having lived in developing countries I've also seen how the subject can be even more taboo. Hopefully this project can help people to understand and open a dialogue on the issue. Keep up the great work here at

  • vanessa carson

    This is an awesome article, keep it up!

  • Alessandra Rizzotti

    I think the fact you're documenting mental illness and how people approach it is interesting, and I look forward to see what you learn in the process.