Don’t call my mum crazy: the story of Gumyati and Ngatemi

Stories | December 6, 2022

Calling someone “crazy” can be both hurtful and harmful for a person with a mental health condition and their family and friends. Unfortunately, Gumyati knows this all too well. Gumyati’s mother, Ngatemi, has a mental health condition and both women are supported by one of CBM Australia’s mental health projects in Indonesia.

As Ngatemi started to get older, Gumyati began noticing that she was pretty emotional, often becoming very sad, angry and frustrated. She also saw she was finding it difficult to do everything she used to, such as joining in social events, helping her neighbours, gardening and looking after her cows.

Slowly, Ngatemi began to isolate herself, staying in her home. Then, the neighbours started saying she was “crazy”.

Yet Ngatemi didn’t feel she needed help. This confused her family and friends, who wanted her to get back to the life she had before.

Eventually, the family took Ngatemi to see a psychiatrist. Although reluctant to seek help, Ngatemi was thankful for the psychiatrist’s support and for telling her and Gumyati about CBM Australia’s mental health project in the area.

With the psychiatrist’s support, Ngatemi slowly improved, and with the backing of the CBM Australia-supported project, Gumyati gained the confidence and skills to help her mum.

Gumyati not only learnt how to help her mum manage her symptoms, but she gained a better understanding of mental health and, importantly, ways to speak to the community about mental health. As a result, she now has the confidence to challenge people who say that people with mental conditions, like her mum, are crazy.

She knows she and her mum aren’t alone! Together with other daughters, mothers, fathers and sons supported by the project, she is challenging the stigma around mental health, slowly changing the world for the better for people with mental health conditions.

CBM acknowledges the support of the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) and thanks our partner Pusat Rehabilitasi YAKKUM. 

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