We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.  Albert Einstein

Build the Bus

We Need Your Help.  

Anyone can help.  There are many ways to support, contribute to or invest in this service.  

1.  Clinical and non-clinical volunteering - see Voluntary Work for more information

2.  Join our
Dashboard to share opinions and ideas relating to unusual service development and provision challenges - Contact Us if you are interested to join us

Attend our presentations and seminars on 'meeting the needs of high risk children', 'service development in high risk settings', our regular service development and progress meetings or general meetings relating to our services and projects to contribute professionally to our work and meet our directors or team - Contact Us for details

Attend or sponsor our fundraising events - Contact Us for details

5.  Donations for children:  Academic or children's books, sports equipment, toys, food items, clothing, bedding, furniture, assessment and treatment tools such as ECGs or blood pressure machines.  All donations will be left with local communities when we conclude a project.  

6.  Pro bono services or transport:  Airfare for professionals and volunteers, donating a bus or services to develop a bus into a clinic, shipping, financial, accounting, legal, security advisory or security services - Contact Us if you are interested in donating services, transport or airfare

7.  Involving your community through social media and networking, direct and email liaison, publications and old fashioned spreading the word to increase our workforce and donations

8.  Partnership agreements.  We would like to meet with individuals or organisations interested in working collaboratively with us to achieve common goals in countries or areas of high need.  Partnerships are not restricted to Health or Children's Services; there are no limits. Children often want to learn how to defend themselves, dance, sing, play musical instruments or sports, cook, act or achieve their goals effectively and they can be inspired by able, generous and passionate individuals who want to reach out and transfer their skills.  This is an important component of most clinical treatment packages for children with mental health problems.  

9.  Once-off or regular monetary donations:  We are committed to transparent accountancy in relation to all expenses and funds received.  D
onations can be made on the Home Page.  All donations will be used towards expenses directly related to providing clinical services for children who cannot afford mental health care or teaching and training to bring mental health care to children not able to access care.  If requested, names of donors can be displayed on the website or the outside of the bus, visible to the public, as we drive through cities.  We are happy to meet with individuals or organisations who would like to discuss possible donations or support.  Please Contact Us to learn more or arrange a meeting. 

10.  Long term of once-off
 project sponsorship:  Projects can be sponsored as a whole or in part.  Please Contact Us if you are interested to know how much our projects typically costs or if you are considering sponsoring one of our projects. 

We invite everyone who supports our projects to join us on location.  

Who Will You be Helping? 
Common Initial Presentations in Child Psychiatry Outreach Work

A group of young mothers, aged 16-19, were housed with their babies in a high risk area.  They were being monitored by the individuals who helped them to escape from an area of higher risk. They feared for their lives and the lives of their babies.  Some young mothers and babies had HIV. Some young mothers were depressed and planned to end their lives and the lives of their babies. The young mothers became pregnant and HIV positive due to sexual assault during their transit.
Attend our presentations to hear about the positive outcome achieved through simple measures. 
A child witnessed his parents and sibling tortured and killed for political reasons.  He was enslaved and tortured.  He escaped after one year.  He fled to a place of safety.  He was placed in a children's home.  He missed his home and wanted to end his life.  He was covered in scars.  He played the guitar.  Attend our presentations to hear about the positive outcome, again, achieved through simple measures.  He is now a public speaker and encourages charity work. 

A child in prostitution attends our clinic, sitting next to the child who runs the business.  She started using intravenous illicit substances at age 9, as instructed by her parents.  She is considering a family of her own.  Attend our presentations to hear about the positive outcome for this child, again, achieved through simple measures.  She discontinued prostitution and drug use, she attended College and now attends clinic with her dog.  She decided that it was not the right time for a baby.  She hopes to become a social worker. 

Most positive outcomes are achieved without medication, but with a thorough and lengthy initial bio-psycho-social systemic and individual risk and needs assessment, along with significant, specifically tailored and often longstanding psycho-social input.  Simple measures and changes can be life changing.

We asked 90 unaccompanied minors what would save their lives or make a difference to their lives - they said the same thing "to be busy and to belong".  Simple measures can change lives. 

We Begin and End with Thank You

We would like to thank the Western Cape Department of Health in South Africa who kindly agreed to work with us to move our pilot project forward at the beginning of 2014.  We are very grateful for your consistent interest, enthusiasm, commitment and support, despite the challenges.  We also want to thank the clinical leads of the three main hospitals in Cape Town; Lentegeur Hospital, Tygerberg Hospital (Stellenbosch University) and Groote Schuur Hospital (University of Cape Town) for their creative ideas and support.  We are also very grateful to everyone at Empilweni in Khayelitsha for their warm welcome and support.  This is where it all started for us in 2007 - we thank you.    

We spent several years to develop this concept of a mobile, accessible, clinical outreach service for children and families; a mental health bus.  We were inspired to go forward with this project after a period of pro bono work in Cape Town in 2007-8 with Prof A Flisher, Consultant in Child Psychiatry, from UCT (University of Cape Town) and Dr B Steyn, Consultant in Child Psychiatry, from the University of Stellenbosch.  We learnt that children were struggling to access local specialist mental health services due to expensive public transport facilities.  Prof Flisher along with Dr Steyn facilitated this period of work and introduced us to local professionals and services. We are most grateful to them for their interest and support.  

To the many individuals who have played small roles, significant roles and key roles in moving this project forward since 2012, to everyone who have offered ideas, encouragement, inspiration and support, we say thank you!  To those who have pushed boulders onto our path, we also say thank you, for you inspired us to ask ourselves important questions, to find answers or creative solutions, to be flexible, to reach higher and to develop further.    

Our deepest gratitude to our medical and non-medical colleagues and volunteers, ranging from GPs, paediatricians, consultants in infectious diseases and public health, psychiatrists, nurses, psychologists and therapists to social workers, police officers, solicitors, accountants, teachers, health visitors and medical or mental health trainees from the UK, Europe, South Africa, India, Canada, America and New Zealand who have, along with energy and time, offered ideas, advice, feedback and enthusiasm. We appreciate your interest and your input.  It is because of all of you that we are here today and that we are planning tomorrow.

We want to specifically thank Mr P Speer, Prof B Robertson, Prof E Delmage, Dr R Davies, Ms L Allen, Mr L Lategan, Dr McCowat, Dr R Sheers, Mr J Clark, Dr C Lanceley, Dr H Andrew, Dr A Humphrey, Dr K Fitzgerald, Dr D Crossley, Dr K Fitzgerald, Dr T Crowther, Dr S Boyd, Dr A Hughes, Dr J Nelki, Dr R Banks, Dr P Todd, Mr C Dutton, Dr A Cotgrove, Dr J Higgs, Dr Wilkinson, Dr C Bergh, Dr H Bolina, Dr P Bolina, Mr Hesketh, Dr L Vermeulen, Dr Kariem, Ms C Saramito, Ms L Hunault, Dr C Clayton-Payne, Dr T Shafi, and Dr Marcellino for their support. 

Lastly, thank you to the children, their families and the communities that allow us to be a part of their world.  The children make our days meaningful and they teach us everything we need to know about gratitude and courage.  They are the only heroes in these stories.   

If You Would Like to Request Services

Our Developmental Road: 

1.  We are contacted by an individual or organisation requesting our services.  
2.  We request more information on existing services, service needs and requirements.  
3.  We meet to discuss existing services, service needs and goals, along with psycho-social risks.
4.  We gather statistical data; quantitative and qualitative information.
5.  We liaise with local services and professionals.
6.  We present a proposal of services and a provisional cost analysis for the service.
7.  We consider timing, availability of volunteers, funding and registration requirements.  
8.  We liaise with professionals in the host country regarding proposed services for feedback. 
9.  We liaise with UK investors and donors regarding proposed services and outcome. 
10. We meet with local services and professionals; we assess and review needs and risk.
11. We compile a risk assessment based on our visit to the host country, previous liaison and data.
12. We present our risk assessment and management report to volunteers and investors. 
13. We compile formal cost analysis report. 
14. We liaise with volunteers - discuss the proposed service and contractual agreements.
15. We finalise service agreements with host country and private donors. 
16. We finalise contractual agreements with volunteers. 
17. We complete training and preparation of volunteers.
18. Local practical arrangements are finalised. 
19. The bus is transferred to the host country if required, ideally after a tour in the UK. 
20. We review data, progress and outcome - usually on a quarterly basis.

The above may vary depending on context. 

Please know that ongoing involvement is dependent on funding and ongoing risk assessment. 

Presentations are available on our work; this will include photographs, statistics and true stories.  

Please feel free to Contact Us to request our service or discuss our service in more detail.  

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