A TEAM of health professionals have returned to Orange knowing they have made an impact on the lives of people in Nepal living with trauma and life-long mental illness.
The team, comprising senior psychiatrist Nick Burns, senior mental health manager Robyn Murray, senior psychologist Peter Warren, clinical nurse consultant Nanette Fogarty, psychiatrist Scott Hedley and intern pharmacist Samuel Lopes travelled to Nepal to deliver mental health clinics and training to help people deal with post-earthquake trauma.
Dr Warren said he would never forget the experience.
“It has been a highlight of my life to travel to the Dhading region of Nepal and conduct education sessions for primary health workers against the backdrop of the highest mountain ranges in the world and amongst the deodar forests of the Himalayas,” he said.
Each morning the team from Orange rose at dawn in their mountain camp to trek to the village health posts at Maidi and Dhola in the Dhading district.
In these health posts they held training clinics in mental health assessment and treatment and post-earthquake trauma sessions for workers, teachers and students.
Clinical leader Dr Burns said it was heartening to see local people rebuilding, both their homes and their hopes for the future.
“The funds raised in Orange and the Central West as well as the efforts of the Orange team of builders led by John Spanger have made a huge difference in this regard,” Dr Burns said.
Dr Burns said the school at Maidi was now in action thanks to the work of Mr Spanger and his team.
“It was great to see the work has already been done and the people commented on how hard-working the team had been and on the kindness of the people from Orange,” he said.
As well as their work in Maidi the team conducted master classes in Kathmandu at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital on complex trauma.
They also hosted the second Australia Nepal Mental Health Exchange at Hotel Annapurna.
Attending was the Australian ambassador Glenn White who told the gathering being in the midst of the quake when it struck on April 25 and witnessing the subsequent response had “changed my life forever.”
Ms Murray said the team from Orange was “tired but happy” with the impact of the trip.