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.”
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.
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.
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