MSF first worked on Nauru in 2017, and was forced to leave in October 2018.
The lack of mental health support available affects both the Nauruan population and the asylum seekers and refugees living on the island as part of the Australian government’s policy of offshore processing.
Our teams identified cases of schizophrenia and family violence, and concerning levels of depression in Nauru, especially among children. Asylum seekers and refugees had been on the island for up to five years with little or no hope of finding a place of safe resettlement.
In agreement with the Ministry of Health, we started providing ‘one door for all’ psychological and psychiatric services at the end of 2017. In an abrupt about-face, it was announced in October 2018 that our services were “no longer required” and we were ordered to leave the island.