Mind to Mind Myanmar is committed to contributing to the better mental health care in Myanmar. In collaboration with the Royal College of Psychiatrists Volunteer Scheme, we went to Myanmar again, for the second time in 2016, to deliver our successful mental health training to the general practitioners, this time in the beautiful city of Taunggyi in the Shan State in Eastern Myanmar.
We also provided refresher training in Yangon and Mandalay to the previous trainees who completed the 4 days of mhGAP training in 2015 and earlier 2016.
The expenses directly related to educational activities such as the hiring of the training venue, printing of the high quality training manuals, audiovisual equipments and stationery are funded by Mind to Mind Myanmar.
This year, during the trip to Myanmar, Nwe participated in the Bagan Temple Marathon on Saturday 26th November. She finished half marathon (13.1 miles) despite excrutiating pain in her knees and ankles and raised an equivalent of £2,000 in the UK and Ks 2,600,000 in Myanmar. These funds were handed over to the Head of Department of Mental Health at Yangon Mental Health Hospital for the existing community mental health clinics. These are the earliest examples of such service in a country where the mental health care has always been centralised in the cities. Most of these clinics are provided on a monthly basis and attended by more than more than a hundred patients at each site. You can see Nwe's JustGiving page here.
We had our third Burmese food fair in London on a lovely sunny day at the begging of August. Despite many people being away on holidays, we managed to raise £3,847.65 from which we allocated £1,000 to be donated to Daw Khin Kyi Foundation for the emergency floods relief work. We thank all the contributors, volunteers and supporters who came/contributed to this event.
Team Mind to Mind Myanmar participated in the annual 22 mile Bridgnorth Walk on 30th May 2016. It has been our annual fundraising activity since 2013 and we have been joined by different friends every year. This year, our team had a record high of 11 members coming from different parts of the UK. We also had a support team who cheered up our team as well as other walkers along this challenging 22 miles route in the hilly English countryside. We raised more than £5,300 in support of our ongoing and expanding work in Myanmar. We thank all our team members and donors.
A team of five consultant psychiatrists from the Royal College of Psychiatrists and a researcher from King's College London went on a second trip to Myanmar to deliver WHO mhGAP mental health training to the GPs in February 2016. In Yangon and Mandalay, we trained a total of 78 GPs who worked really hard and participated actively all four days. We even worked out a template for how we should tackle the issue of stigma against mental illness in Myanmar. It was a positive, productive and rewarding experience for all of us (trainers and trainees) and we were delighted that the donors' money was well spent for the better mental health care for the patients in Myanmar. We hope to continue this meaningful work in Myanmar until we build a local resource in the near future.
Our team of six went to the Yangon Mental Health Hospital and met with the senior and junior as well as trainee psychiatrist colleagues. We were delighted to be able to do presentations on an overview of the UK psychiatric training programme and how we could possibly contribute to the specialist training in Myanmar. We also donated some textbooks for the postgraduate students in both Yangon and Mandalay.