Luh Ketut Suryani

Ashoka Fellow
Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia
Fellow Since 2010


This profile was prepared when Luh Ketut Suryani was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2010.
The New Idea
Over the past two decades, Suryani has been spreading mental health care across Indonesia by not only making it more accessible to citizens, but also by redefining and expanding the definition of a “mental health care provider.” Based on the simple premise that everyone can be a self-healer, Suryani has engaged a multitude of groups, including teachers, women, children, volunteers, senior citizens, and health workers, and has taught them how to cope with psychiatric issues. Perhaps most notably, she has successfully begun to partner traditional healers with modern psychiatrists to provide a holistic experience that includes community-based prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation.

Through Suryani’s organizations, the Suryani Institute for Mental Health and the Committee Against Sex Abuse, she has developed and expanded a number of initiatives designed to treat patients. Using her innovative method, which she coined the “biopyschospirit-sociocultural” approach to psychiatry, Suryani’s efforts combine meditation and spiritualism with modern psychological tools and practices. Local governments have adopted and replicated many of Suryani’s methods.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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