In the early morning, speeding between green shimmering fields of paddy, a line of soldiers comes into view. They are strung along the road, languidly prodding piles of rubbish with metal tridents, checking for claymore mines that may have been planted overnight. Arriving at the rural hospital, I settle down to supervise the young medical officer running the new mental health clinic. I concentrate on developing her clinical skills. I give her plenty of feedback, highlighting things done well, areas to work on, that sort of thing. We have discussions about assessment issues, risk, appropriate treatment strategies, family involvement, working with local belief systems, thinking critically. I also supervise her in training the community workers who attend with the patient and family; it is almost unheard of for a patient to come alone.
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