As one of the world’s twenty poorest nations, Nepal suffers from chronic shortages of health care facilities. Mental health is one of the most neglected and forgotten areas of clinical care. At present, there are no more than 150 psychiatrists in the whole country and only a handful oflocal nurses are trained in mental health skills. Most services are located in Kathmandu, with little to no support in smaller remote rural communities.
The need for more and better access to services is great. Women and children living in poverty and isolated communities are at high risk of being trafficked, abused and exploited. Suicide is the leading cause of death for Nepali women of working age. Those suffering from psychosis and other serious disorders are often isolated, ostracized, and in severe cases chained by their own families as there are no other options.
One of the initiatives of Unity in Health mental health strategy in Nepal, is to launch a pilot project in Ilam; a district located in the East of Nepal, bordering the Indian state of Darjeeling. This area has one of the highest rates of suicide in the whole of country. It takes over 27 hours to get to this isolated corner of Nepal through treacherous winding roads and mountain passes. Landslides, especially during the monsoon season, makes it close to impossible for communities to access any kind of care.
We are starting a community outreach clinic providing medication, support and training to those living in Ilam. This is a life changing and life saving project, and you can be part of it. With your help this Christmas, those in most need will have access to services their desperately require.