17. Tea-time at the non-sequitur café

Note that none of the following pictures contain patients, and all parties have signed written consent to have their pictures included in this blog.  Of course, parents signed for les … [Continue reading]

16. Fruit in a Bowel

“It’s not the mountain that wears you down, it’s the rock in your shoe.” It has been brought to my attention, most unceremoniously, that I have kept the blog more descriptive than personal, more playful than ranting, more academic than grit. … [Continue reading]

15. The Marabou Picnic

One of the more conspicuous aspects of psychiatric work is that we deal with syndromes and diseases whose defining elements are often invisible. You can’t see a “depressive or anxiety disorder” in any definitive way, and would usually have no way of … [Continue reading]

14. Trauma, Empathy and Counselling (Part 2)

This entry has been hard to write. The fact is that while trauma is used as a medical term, it is deeply embedded in our social history, meaning that it has political, legal, economic, and moral components.This is fascinating stuff, and I can think … [Continue reading]

13. Trauma, Empathy and Counselling

(In the following story, names and minor details have been changed for confidentiality). Ahmed, one of the national staff pulled me aside today.  He hesitantly asked if he could speak with me about a member of his family who was “traumatized,” and … [Continue reading]

12. The Steppes

Mental Health work in Chad brings you into contact with all walks of life; everybody can and will show the signs of strain under difficult protracted and circumstances. Some people who have heard about our services have walked up to 20km from … [Continue reading]

11. Sights and sounds from the Mobile Clinic

  As I write this, the wind is whipping outside.  I have no clue what time it is because my Tukul is near lightfast.  But somehow, even though light doesn’t make it through—I write this with my head-lamp on—dust has no problem getting itself … [Continue reading]

10. Mental Health Services # 3

Chad remains politically active. We don’t get mentioned much on the BBC anymore, as the news cycle has moved on to other world events, but word is that the government has declared a “state of emergency” for two weeks. On the ground in Farchana, it … [Continue reading]

9. Mental Health Services # 2

  There are three MSF project sites in Farchana: (1) the Primary Health Centre, located at the edge of the camp, is where maternity and basic medical care are provided; (2) the Nutritional Centre in the centre of the camp houses the Community … [Continue reading]

8. Mental Health Services # 1

[This is written from the MSF compound in Abéché, whereto I’ve been partially evacuated.  If you’re following the news, you know that things are a bit hairy here in Chad.  Rumours abound, but I have no good sense as to what’s  happening.  From the … [Continue reading]