TPO helps unchain people with mental health problems who are literally chained up in rural Cambodian homes due to a lack of awareness about mental health issues and the lack of affordable and effective services … because no one should live like that.
The destructive legacy of decades of war, coupled with present-day socio-economic challenges and rapid change of society, leave many Cambodians with untreated mental health problems. Even after the hard work put in by TPO and other organizations, a mental health crisis of epic proportions continues to impact Cambodian society at all levels.
This issue is compounded by:
- the lack of awareness about mental health and treatment options
- a complete lack of services in rural areas
- families’ lack of financial means to seek help further afield or even care for their sick family member
- intense stigmatization of people with mental health issues and their families
These issues prevent people from seeking or reaching help, and often leads desperate families in Cambodia’s rural areas to feel they have no other choice to chain their mentally ill family member to the house, a tree, a shed …
How does TPO’s work alleviate this problem?
This project raises awareness of mental health issues in rural Cambodian communities and demonstrates that there are alternatives to chaining up family members struggling with mental illness. Mobile TPO teams will travel to rural areas to treat patients, educate families on how to care for their loved ones, and train local health workers so more community members can access the care they desperately need.
Potential Long Term Impact
By bringing care and training directly to the people who need it most, this work will shift communities’ attitudes about mental health issues and the help that is available. Families that are overwhelmed will find relief as their relatives with mental illness gain more independence, realize their rights, and finally have the opportunity to participate in society.
It will show people that when we dare to care, we can change the world.
Read Sokun’s story to see how this program changes lives.
During TPO’s 20th Anniversary Celebration on 21 February 2015, His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia kindly donated US$ 5,000 to TPO Cambodia for mental health work. The TPO team decided to use this donation to make OPERATION UNCHAIN a reality and provide treatment to mentally ill patients who have been locked up or chained at home. As TPO would like to treat and unchain as many patients as possible, the TPO team would like to keep raising additional funds for this cause. During June 2015 we ran an online fundraising campaign for our OPERATION UNCHAIN aimed at matching the donation from His Majesty through our own fundraising efforts. We were thrilled that we managed to reach this initial fundraising goal via our online fundraising campaign on the GlobalGiving platform. This said, the more funds we raise, the more patients we can treat and help on their way to a life with dignity.
If you are interested in helping TPO with this cause, please kindly visit our online fundraising page on GlobalGiving where you can will find an option to donate towards this project. Also check out our Donation Page for more giving options.