MSF counsellor educators and community-based health workers provide ongoing support to patients in villages, health clinics, and internally displaced peoples’ camps. Services include psychological education and counselling to help enhance understanding and coping skills for patients (and their caregivers) experiencing a wide range of mental health concerns. These range from depression and anxiety to psychosis, and even thoughts or acts of suicide when people feel completely hopeless.
“Working with patients and their caregivers in the environments where they live helps us provide support and counselling that touches patients’ lives at the most critical of moments," says Sara Chesters, MSF mental health activity manager. "Our patients struggle with displacement resulting from ethnic or religious conflicts, sexual assault, and the mental health issues that can evolve from acutely stressful situations where basic resources and healthcare are hard to find and access. We help treat their symptoms and work with them to provide the tools and resources to not just survive but to learn to thrive in the most challenges of circumstances.”