Zimbabwe is in need of support in many areas, and Innisfree Directors, Rob and Kat Watt, have been working hard putting together training for clinicians working in the fields of substance addiction and sex addiction.  During the past 18 months, they have visited Zimbabwe three times delivering workshops and lectures and gathering information around the existing pathways of care currently used by practitioners in Zimbabwe.

Innisfree Therapy is now well-placed to deliver a fit-for-purpose piece of training aimed at Consultant Psychiatrists, GPs, Psychologists, counsellors and medical staff, Care Home staff and support workers, and are planning on delivering this training in Bulawayo and Harare next year.

Innisfree Therapy Training in Zimbabwe – March 2017

In 2016, Rob and Kat visited Zimbabwe twice to explore how they might best offer support to clinicians working in the field of substance addiction and sex addiction. With the help and guidance of Dr Kate Adams of the ZHTS in London, Ruth Verhey of the Friendship Bench in Harare, and Dr Mark Dixon, Chantal Wittstock and Asmita Morar in Bulawayo, they were introduced to the various organisations and clinicians practising in this country.

In March 2017 Rob and Kat Watt facilitated workshops and lectures in Zimbabwe focusing on sex addiction and substance addiction. They delivered 4 days in Bulawayo and 3 days in Harare to over 200 participants including Consultant Psychiatrists, GPs, Psychologists, trainee GPs, nurses and service users.  In Bulawayo they presented at Mpilo hospital, the Zimbabwe Medical Association, the Sexual Rights Centre and Still Haven. In Harare they presented at the Island Hospice, Zimbabwe Medical Association and to the Friendship Bench.

The main purpose of this visit was to gather information about the demographic presenting with sex addiction and substance addiction and existing pathways of care.

Rob and Kat had this to say about their experiences: “What we weren’t expecting was the hunger for information and the urgency for supported training in Zimbabwe in this field.  Substance and sex addiction is rife, and the consequences are devastating.  There was an extraordinary turnout and we can honestly say that this has been a life changing experience.  One of the highlights included a focus group with representatives of the LGBT and sex worker communities in Bulawayo – once given the freedom to speak in a safe space, they were fearless.  The Zeebag ladies in Harare also spoke of the desperation of their communities and of personal struggles with addiction in their own families.”

“There are already extraordinary training schemes and community support groups for mental health issues in Harare by the likes of the Friendship Bench and ZHTS. Without both of these organisations we would never have been able to reach the number of clinicians and service users that we did.”

Rob and Kat hope to return this year to deliver training with a view to developing continued support in response to the overwhelming need they experienced.

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