Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Day 9

We started off the day at 8:30 a.m. and headed for Panama’s only mental health facility. Unlike in the U.S. the institute had a variety of interventions in treating their patients. The five areas of focus were: therapeutic gardening, self-image/self-esteem building, art therapy, psychoeducational groups and occupational therapy. The art that some of the patient’s created were for purchase and the money raised went back to funding the mental health center. Some of the art was very impressive, it looked professional. As for the self-image/self-esteem building, patients are encouraged to participate in manicures, pedicures and hair styling. Among the many addictions treated, gambling was one of them. The focus seems to be that they want the patient’s to go back to there families after the 30 days treatment. Just like in the U.S., medicine compliance is a problem. Not for financial reasons, but because the patients believe that that their conditions aren’t chronic and that after therapy they are cured.
After, the mental health institute we stopped by the grocery store. Tonight it was Amanda W., Mary, Jolene, Brittany and I’s turn to cook for the group. I wish that I could have helped more with dinner but couldn’t due to there being a respiratory infection going around. We made Tacos and attempted to make rice, but the rice turned out a disaster. However, the rest of the meal turned out great, everyone enjoyed it and overall it was a good group effort.
Towards the end of the night, Amanda and Brittany had trouble with their laundry. Since there is only one washer and dryer, another individual took it upon themself to take their clothes out of the washer and dump them on top of the dryer. They were not very happy campers and will be up late tonight making sure that there laundry gets done properly.

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