Dr Stan and his inspired work

You’ll remember me writing about clinical psychologist Dr Stan and his work at SIRC when he visited there less than 6 weeks after the earthquakes in June of this year.  Well, Dr Stan was back at SIRC for a week-long visit, continuing his work with coaching and training SIRC staff, and running more sessions with the patients.

He writes:  “Getting to work each day is an adventure but a great time of camaraderie. The Director of Social Work picks me up on his motorcycle at the hotel each morning and takes me to the bus. The process is repeated at the end of the day. The Spinal Cord center has their own bus that brings about 50 or 60 employees on a one hour ride back and forth to the Centre.

Although the roads are generally “good”, I am told they were closed this summer during the monsoons due to mud slides. (We probably shouldn’t be taking selfies on a motorcycle given how bad the roads are). And, as my sister will point out to me, I still don’t have a helmet.”

Dr Stan and Suresh

Dr Stan and Suresh

He also writes: “In most developing countries, the notion of providing counseling and education on sexuality and SCI is simply unheard of. Yet, my experience has been that this is a universal topic that people want information about after an injury. Relationships, sexuality and fertility are essential components in the quality of life for most people regardless of disability or not.

I am proud to say that SIRC recognizes this fact and integrates sexuality education and counseling into the rehabilitation program for all patients.

This picture is a sexuality discussion group that we ran earlier this week. It got people talking and sharing about the issue. Most importantly, it reinforced the fact that your sexual and relationship life doesn’t end after an injury.

Group session at SIRC

Group session at SIRC

By the way, it adds an interesting little twist when you don’t speak the language and all the little spicy details about sex need to get interpreted through a female staff member, who thankfully is also a psychologist.”

Dr Stan left Nepal day before yesterday and headed for India where last night, he was presented with a Life Time Achievement Award by the Ministry of Health, Government of India in recognition of his superb work.

Being congratulated on receiving his award

Being congratulated on receiving his award

Dr Stan describes himself as being “taken completely by surprise” and ‘blown away” with the award, and remains “completely speechless today”.

Congratulations Dr Stan!

Photo credits:  Dr Stan Ducharme

About Kate Coffey

After 25+ years in the investment management industry, I packed in my job and spent 2014 living and working in Nepal and Bangladesh, and visited some other places in between. It took me on a journey I did not expect, had me fall in love with Nepal and it's people, and become inspired at the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) located 2 hours east of Kathmandu in the Sanga foothills. Since 2014, I have continued my warm relationship with SIRC and worked closely with my friends there in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes to date. This blog initially started out as a travelogue of sorts to keep friends and family worldwide updated while I was off on my travels in 2014. Since then it has morphed into a life story of the many places I have lived and worked and of the wonderful people I have met along the way. I hope you enjoy.
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