Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Mental health training in Somaliland – Day 6

Day 6 - Monday 23rd September

An early start to begin the Mental Health Skills Training course in Hargeisa. This is a ‘teaching the trainers’ course.  I shall be teaching mainly new doctors and junior doctors teaching skills that they may utilise in their own practice. This is the first time such a course has been run in mental health and it is an exciting opportunity. 15 participants attend, and I find I know many of the participants as they were medical students when I taught in 2012 in Somaliland. It is a real privilege to be here and to be able to facilitate their development further. They have all recently graduated as new doctors. 

Also on the course are more senior doctors who wish to improve their teaching skills. Many of the course participants comment that they have rarely taught using techniques other than lectures/ powerpoint, and they are keen to learn. They are also aware that their involvement in the course has changed, and rather than being passive recipients of information that is given, during this course they will all be practicing their teaching skills. Some are confident, others a little more nervous, though as the day progresses, I am impressed by their level of interaction. We spend today thinking about what makes a good teacher, what skills a teacher needs to use, what different roles a teacher may take on and how teaching is very much linked to professionalism, leadership, team work, supervision and audit. Most doctors were not familiar with audit, something which is very much needed here in Somaliland to improve the quality of services.