Archive | June, 2016

Returned from Nepal (and feeling reflective)

5 Jun

We have been back for two weeks now and the sense of achievement and momentum for the THET project in Nawalparasi is still strong. Three volunteers Andrea Lawrie, David Havelock and I are keen to share what we experienced in a paper sometime soon and today I will condense some of my own reflections. I wrote ‘letters’ (via email) to my Head of Midwifery, Sandra Chitty and to Senior Lecturer in Midwifery at Bournemouth University Dr Jen Leamon while I was away, using different styles of expression to ‘get at’ my reflections from more than one angle. It helped me to separate out elements of the whole experience. Dave had immersed us in the ‘five areas’ approach used in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which I appear to have internalised (amazing what two weeks away from home in a completely different environment can do for you in so many ways). for more information NHS Choices is a good start:

  • Situations – being away from home freed me of responsibilities; I could think only of the workshops and enjoy being reunited with Dave (25 years a friend) and Andrea 18 years and enjoy seeing them getting to know one another too. We had a completely new person in Sampada Ghimirie who acted as our translator and is now a friend.Being in a completely different culture makes you realise the assumptions easily in your own culture. Perhaps we need to ask more simple questions and question assumptions about our practices at home?
  • Thoughts – we had prepared some teaching and learning materials (eg using the Edinburgh Perinatal Depression Scale; relaxation for self-care and for care of women; CDP basics and how to incorporate what has been learned into practice; the ‘buttons’ and the balloons exercises). These worked well as a framework and opened up opportunities for discussion. I could see the scope for improving our knowledge and skills in promoting maternal emotional and mental health back home (RCM has a good practice guide for midwives with extensive references).
  • Emotions – I feel an enormous sense of privilege in having the opportunity to be part of this project. An overall feeling of privilege and humility towards the people we met who have relatively little, yet share much. We were free to be playful and laughed a lot (often at our own jokes!!) The workshop attendees and the hotel staff shared in singing and dancing with us in an atmosphere of freedom which is sometimes missing in daily life.
  • Physical feelings – There is nothing like a volunteering experience to boost wellbeing. I am energised, positive and full of ideas both for my return to the UK and continuing contact with Bournemouth Unversity and Green Tara Nepal.
  • Actions – There is support from my HoM to run some sessions for staff on mental wellbeing which we can merge with the message fromthe RCMs Caring for You new in an holisitc approach to our own and our clients’ wellbeing – they are related!



Day 6: Mental Health Workshops (Day 1) – Nawalparasi – 13 May 2016

1 Jun

Our workshops start at 9am, but the auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs) and skilled birth attendants (SBAs) are relying on unreliable public transport to get them here. Some are even travelling miles b…

Source: Day 6: Mental Health Workshops (Day 1) – Nawalparasi – 13 May 2016