Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Lao Buddhist monks trained to help UXO mental health issues

In March, 2016, BasicNeeds facilitated the first ever counselling training for Buddhist monks in Pek district, Xiengkhouang province, a severely bombed province in Lao PDR. The training aimed to build the capacity of monks to provide psycho-social support to UXO victims and was conducted in partnership with Danish Church Aid (DCA), supported by the European Commission.

You can read more about this intriguing and vital project here. Given the shortage of trained psychologists in Laos, and also the traditional relationship of Lao monks to the community, I think it's an important and meaningful intersection of faith, activism, and health. I'm glad to see mental health being addressed in Laos, even as I also feel Buddhist monks being trained in the US would also be of benefit for many Lao communities.

Founded in 2000, BasicNeeds is a mental health focused international NGO with a global reach spanning 12 countries and growing. Their mission is to enable people with mental illness or epilepsy and their families to live and work successfully in their communities by combining health, socio-economic and community orientated solutions with changes in policy, practice and resource allocation.

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