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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 359-363

Building up mental health services from scratch: experiences from East Sri Lanka

consultant psychiatrist, after nine years in Batticaloa is presently working at the National Institute for Mental Health, in Colombo, Sri Lanka., Sri Lanka

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The author describes his experiences as a psychiatrist in East Sri Lanka where he was involved in building mental health and psychosocial services in the context of war and disaster. He stresses the necessity of creating patient and family friendly services, and advocates for the principle of distributing basic services over the whole region, instead of providing a highly specialised service that most of the people who need help cannot reach. He discusses the importance of empowering both staff members and patients, and emphasises the important of valuing common sense solutions and approaches to the problems faced by service users.

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