Changes bring temple mental health center into the 21st century (1) (2013/01/13)
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  • Changes bring temple mental health center into the 21st century (2)
  • 英文 English 
    Changes bring temple mental health center into the 21st century (1) (2013/01/13)

    Over more than four decades Long Far Temple has built a reputation for sheltering psychiatric patients. It hails from an earlier age, when there wasn’t universal health care and there were few options for the mentally ill. Its background and unusual methods have kept it outside the normal treatment system, but recently it has made dramatic reforms in an attempt to qualify for public funding and support. Tonight we examine the progress it has made.

    Led by Shih Hsin-hsien釋心賢, the director of Long Far Temple, we visit a place well known for supporting mentally ill patients.

    In 1970 Shih Kai-fong釋開豐 built a temple in his hometown of Kaohsiung County’s Lujhu Township. He decided to name it Long Far.

    Initially Shih Kai-fong was entrusted with the care of one mentally ill patient. Soon his reputation spread, and others sent their mentally ill family members here. Long Far became synonymous with a shelter to take care of the mentally ill, and today it has more than 600 residents. It believes that each person is a member of the temple, and each has a special story.

    Patient’s Family Member
    Before sending my brother here he almost burned down our house. At night he took some medicine and was preparing to go to sleep, but he was hungry. He turned on the stove to cook, but the medicine took effect and he went to bed. He left the gas on and the whole house was full of smoke.

    Patient’s Family Member
    We would be responsible for any effect his actions had on our neighbors. From my experience this burden is too heavy. It’s something the average person can’t handle.

    Instead of charging fees, Long Far relies on donations from family members, a policy that has eased the burden on lower income families. But over its four decades of service the temple has not been without controversy. One issue involves its earlier use of metal chains.

    In the beginning Long Far used chains to join patients with slight mental disabilities to those with more severe disorders. The chains were meant to help patients overcome problems.

    Shih Hsin-chiu
    Long Far Worker
    I've used this method on patients who would urinate and defecate everywhere. We taught them until there was a breakthrough. We took them to the bathroom and told them to use the toilet. When they finally did we were delighted.

    Wen Jung-kwang
    They have a nice name for this chain, but in reality it’s dangerous and deprives the patient of basic human rights. It limits movement. When two patients are chained together, if one has an episode it can lead to violence and murder.

    中文 Chinese  
    龍發堂 搞什麼名堂? (上)









    [[龍發堂師父 釋心秋]]

    [[精神科醫師 文榮光]]

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