Here in MSF's reconstructive surgery hospital in Amman, our patients are mainly the casualties of war happening in their countries, like Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Palestine. Our aim in the psychosocial team is to bring back mental health stability to their lives, and help them re-assimilate with their communities, both throughout and after treatment.
Our patients have suffered severe traumas caused by the violent events they have witnessed, which have led to the loss of their loved ones, or destruction of their property, or eviction and displacement. So it is extremely important to understand what they have been through, in order to plan for a treatment that suits their situation, and the nature of their suffering. Our patients are but a few cases of so many out there, who suffered traumas as a result of the events they witnessed.
Our patients are only a few of the many out there, who suffered traumas as a result of the events they witnessed.
Our team consists of four social psychologists. Each of us specialises in a certain age group, to provide the best possible mental health support services. We have a specialist who works with children, and someone who specialises in working with women, while I deal with elderly men. We do, however, run joint activities, especially entertainment and social interaction events. We see approximately 20 people a week in total.
Each and every person I have seen, had and still has a deep impact on me personally.
Each and every person I have seen, had and still has a deep impact on me personally. But given the nature of our work, and in respect of our professional values, I cannot share any details of these stories outside of work. I can however, speak generally of the violent events those people had to go through, and what difficult and horrifying circumstances they had to live with during the war.
For example, there is one case that I can still remember quite clearly, about a patient who was tortured in prison only a few hours after being wounded. He was deprived of the most basic health care services, and was severely subjected to extreme torture, at a time where he was still bleeding. A few days later, his wound got rotten and extremely infected, which led to the need of an amputation surgery later. I cannot forget when he spoke to me with tears in his eyes, he was treated so inhumanely.
It is still a great pleasure to work with those people though, as we can witness improvements in their mental health condition, which has a great positive effect on their treatment. I wish the day will come, where we will stop to have such cases, where all conflicts in this region stops, and may the mental and physical casualties stop with it.