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Mental health support to MSF staff

19 Oct 2018

Psychologist Deborah Duarte talks about the difficulties faced by our international staff when they return home after having experienced intense moments during the mission.



Deborah Franco – Psychosocial support

Everything is so intense in the field.

We experience and see so many things in such a short space of time.

I thought I could return home, but how can I go back to my mum, my dad, my parents?

Things are not the same because I am not the same anymore.

I met so many people, I connected with so many people.

Everything was so… it is impossible for someone to remain the same.

Then, when we think about what is supposed to be normal, it is not anymore.

So our staff always ask themselves: Is this where I should be right now? Am I in the right place?

Simply having someone to say, “It’s okay, it’s fine,” already soothes them.

As we say, a psychologist works to relieve someone’s pain, but the psychosocial support also works to relieve distress, anxiety, any possible suffering that our staff might have brought home with them.