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Health Care for the Homeless – Dental and Mental Care

On Sunday 3rd February 2019, the Sathya Sai Centres of Leicester collaborated with The Bridge “Homelessness to Hope” for the sixth health awareness day for the homeless. The clinics provide mental health plus a specialty clinic on a quarterly basis as its focus.

Mental health consultation with psychiatrist

We worked with Doncaster Road Dental practice to provide dental treatment to the guests, where in previous years, this was not possible. It is only through Swami’s will that at the 11th hour the opportunity knocked.

Dental triage assessment prior to invasive treatment in dental surgery

In total there were 20 healthcare professionals (Doctors, Dentists, Pharmacists, Psychiatrists), most of whom were not devotees, but wanted to dedicate their time to help others.

Providing oral health advice

45 patients were triaged, with 19 receiving dental treatment ranging from fillings to extractions. 88% of our patients expressed that they were either unable to find a dentist, or did not qualify for free NHS treatment. Majority expressed anxiety as a key factor preventing them from accessing care. However, with the love and compassion our team were able to offer on the day we were able to overcome some of these anxieties.

Pharmacists conducting baseline observations: BMI, blood glucose, medical history and smoking cessation service
Chaperones aided the guests from registration through to the treatment clinics
Dental work undertaken at the Doncaster Road dental clinic on the day

In 2004, during an interview with UK young adults, we asked Swami, “In a country that is already developed, what can we do to serve you?” Swami lovingly told us, “Find the need!” Swami has certainly helped us “find the need” with the homeless in our country.

By Dr Bijal Sisodia-Shah

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