Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians

by Cambodia Transcultural Psychosocial Organization
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Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians
Bring Mental Health Care to Cambodians

A young man, 26 years, has been chained in the dark room of the house. He is the youngest son in the family. He finished 1st year university and then gave up because of his addiction problem.

During 5-year addiction, he stole his chicken raised by his family, money and other properties for buying Amphetamine, and stole neighbors’ properties. Then his family sent him to a center, Drug Addict Relief Treatment-Education Training Association (DTA), in the city for drug detoxification for 3 months.

He was sent back home and he still used Amphetamine. Meanwhile his initial signs and symptoms consisted of talking alone, laughing without reason, committing violence, poor insight, hearing voice, no sleeping. His mother was injured by his aggressive behaviors. Meanwhile he was sent to see some doctors and traditional healers, but no improvement.  Then his family requested commune police to arrest and chain him in the dark room for 2 years for preventing from his harmful behavior. His family felt hopeless for recovery.

After TPO staff shared information on TV Live show program about Operation Unchained Project, the commune police contacted and reported about this case to TPO. Psychiatrist made assessment and prescribed medicine and psychologist did awareness raising with local authority and villagers about effective treatment for mental disorders and an importance of their participation in treatment process.

After getting the treatment for 7 months, he was better and asked his mother to release him. His family said that they are very excited because they have never expected for his recovery. They considered TPO like God that come to save his life. They thanked all individuals who donate to TPO for helping people who are chained or locked up.    

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A man, 35 years, lives in Svay Rieng province. He was a youngest child in his family. His one hand was chained to a pillar and his one leg was chained to another pillar of abandoned cottage.

He was so skinny because of having not enough care from his family, and not enough food. He was a student at university, could speak English and French. While he was sick with psychosis, he was referred to get medical treatment, then he was better. After that he relapsed and sent to hospital again, but was not better. His family felt hopeless for recovery and he was very aggressive, and harmful. Then family members decided to chain him for safety. He was chained for 17 years.

While TPO mobile team approached him, he can’t communicate and has no insight. TPO therapists prescribed medication for treatment and also worked with his family and his neighbors for raising psycho-awareness for seeking the support for him. It’s very challenged because he had conflict with his older sister who is a caregiver. He didn’t get proper care from his sister, this issue made recovery very slow.

This case was spent for almost 4 years of treatment for recovery. Now he is better and his family released him and integrated him into the family.

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She, 29 years, lives in Bati disctrict, Takao province. Her family is very poor and her mother who is a widow has chronic illness.

She used to work at garment factory before she was serious mental illness. Meanwhile she had head injury with unconsciousness by accident and hospitalized at district level. Then she started having strange behavior: walking out, talk alone, withdrawal, crying, yelling at night, poor sleep, laugh without reason. Then her family brought her to district hospital for treatment and to see traditional healers, but it’s not improved.

Her mother who is caregiver can’t manage her. While walking out, she was raped and had pregnancy. Meanwhile it’s hard for her mother who is also sick, she was chained for preventing her from abuse and then took birth a daughter. A family took her daughter and adopted.

Later on she was released from chain but her condition was still in signs and symptoms of her mental illness. She walked out and then she was raped and had pregnancy again. She was chained again for preventing her from abuse and then took birth a son. Her son was also adopted by another family.

TPO was contacted to provide treatment for her. While reaching her house, her leg was chained. After the informed consent was done, we communicated with her firstly in order to assess her signs and symptoms and then we had meet with her mother and local authority for more information. Psychiatrist prescribed medicine for her. Meanwhile TPO treatment team provided psycho-education to family members and neighbors as well local authority to understand about psychosis, causes of psychosis and effective treatment as well their involvement in the treatment.

After getting treatment for 2 months, her family decided to release her from chain. Currently she could take care herself and cook food. She could answer to our question properly and question us about her condition. Her family also received help from Ptas Devada (God house) which is a program of H.E Hun Mana who constructed a house for the poor family. Her family also has got support from villagers.

She missed her son and expressed wish to see his face because she could see only his photo at her house, she said “I miss my son, I would like to see my son”.

Local authority and her mother mentioned with feeling excited that “they have never expected she is recovery like this, they felt hopeless”. They also thanked to TPO,Lok Chum Teav, Ptas Devada Program of H.E Hun Mana who involve in saving this family. Villagers expressed surprised and appreciate for her recovery.

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A female client, 27 years old, lived in Chamkar Leu district and Kampong Cham Province.

She lives with her father. Her mother passed away for 6 years ago. She is the eldest daughter in the family, and she has 2 young brothers and 2 young daughters.

After her mother died, his father has got a new wife. Then relationship within family become trouble. She had conflict with her dad and he committed physical violence on her. She is only one person who earn money for support her family. she failed in Korean test 3 times for getting a job in Korea for getting higher income. His boyfriend who is Korean refused to marry her. Then she was sick with mental illness.

She was sent to see some traditional healers, but not improved. After she was aggressive verbally, violent, and disturbed behavior; her family chained her for a month before TPO mobile team to reach her resident for providing treatment.

When we approached her, she was under traditional healing, sleeping on the bed with burned stove for herbal sauna. At the moment she shouted very loudly and cursed every people to see her including therapists. She distrusted all family members. She rejected all things including food offered by family members, she still has good relationship with a female neighbor. She is only one person who could approach her and she listens to her. So when family has anything to give her such as food, let her neighbor give that.

Her signs and symptoms: aggressive behavior, cursing others, talk alone, hate all members in family, not sleep at night, forgetfulness, poor memory, reject food, delusion and hallucination. She drinks 4 cans of energy drink a day, poor self-care. She is thin and chained under her home.

Her diagnosis given by psychiatrist is Schizophrenia.

Beside medicines given by psychiatrist, our social worker working with family members and her neighbors to raise awareness on what is schizophrenia? Causes of illness, and effective treatment for schizophrenia and how to take care that patient. Our social worker has gone to see her and family 2 time per month.

After her signs and symptoms are improved and could be communicable, our social worker also has seen her for counseling to work on building hope, and dealing with stress. With enough support from family and people around, her illness was improved so fast. After receiving treatment for 6 weeks, she was unchained by her family and integrate into the family.

After being unchained, she could take care herself, cook food, and wash clothes. She felt very happy and so kind. Her family members feel happy and excited. Her neighbors also congratulated for being released from chain and integrated into family.

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The Annual Report of Operation Unchained Project 2019

1. Objectives:

  To improve mental health and eventually free mentally ill patients who have been locked up due to their mental illness or due to the lack of access to appropriate treatment.

  Raise awareness of mental health issues in rural Cambodian communities and demonstrates that there are alternatives to chaining up family members struggling with severe and chronic mental illness.

2. Mobile team

  Mr. Seang Leap          Project Coordinator/Psychologist

  Dr Ang Sody               Clinician/Senior Psychiatrist

3. Partners

  Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Ministry of Health

  Provincial Health Department

  District Health Office, Referral Hospitals and Health Centers

  Local authorities

4. Number of patients:

The project has contacted for treatment psychotic patients who are locked up or chained by families or relatives.

  128 patients contacted the project.

  123 received the treatment, 68 in male and 55 in female live in 15 provinces of Cambodia.

  5 cases are in waiting list.

  In 2019, 30 patients are new cases.

5. The result of treatment

  78 patients are unchained by their families.

  5 patients died because of physical illness.

  9 patients are dropped out.

  28 cases are still chained.

  5 cases are in waiting list.

72% of the patients who are in the treatment were unchained by their families.

6. Challenges

  A few of families didn’t provide enough care for patients. This made the condition of mentally ill patients better slowly.

  Some patients live in dispersed areas and long distances, so we spend long time for traveling to see them.

Links:

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Organization Information

Cambodia Transcultural Psychosocial Organization

Location: Phnom Penh - Cambodia
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Leap Seang
Phnom Penh, Phnom Penh Cambodia
$9,360 raised of $10,000 goal
 
172 donations
$640 to go
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