From November 2017 to October 2018, Medecin San Frontieres (MSF) provided mental health assessments and treatment to 285 refugees, asylum seekers, local Nauruans and foreign workers on Nauru. In October 2018 the Nauruan Government ordered MSF to cease services. MSF has spoken out about its grave concerns for the mental health and well being of those they can no longer provide care for, highlighting that the mental health of those men, women and children was amongst the worst that the NGO had even seen. They backed this stance with data indicating that not only is Nauru in the grip of a mental health crisis, but that this crisis is directly related to Australia’s policy of offshore detention.
The experience of MSF in Nauru has lead the organisation to conclude that while there are many in need of mental health care on Nauru, evacuation of all refugees and asylum seekers from the island is the safest way to prevent further harm and suffering.
You can read the report published by MSF here: Indefinite Despair: Mental Health Consequences on Nauru (Medecin Sans Frontieres, Dec 2018)
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