Case Study 2: Munny Kaew
Munny is a 45-year-old Cambodian man who lives in Western Sydney with his wife, Ary, and their three children, a girl Chan aged 10, and twin sons, Prak and Rith, aged 6 years. He has presented at the community centre with his wife. Ary is very worried that Munny has not been his usual self since he was interviewed by his employer six weeks ago.
Munny has worked in a large bakery for the last five years that supplies bread for large supermarket chains. He finds this job stressful because he has to start work at 1 am but he says that he enjoys his work once he gets there. However, when his employer spoke to him, he was very surprised to learn that his employer was not satisfied with his work and that if it did not improve, Munny would lose his job.
Since that incident, Munny has become less and less communicative at home. He is taking increasing amounts of sick leave and when he is not at work, he spends most of his time in bed. Now he rarely takes notice of his children, who were previously the centre of his attention, and no longer does anything around the house. Ary is also worried because Munny is not showing any interest in food and believes he has lost a significant amount of weight. Ary says that she has tried to talk to Munny but he only speaks in one word answers and says that he is fine and to leave him alone.
Ary tells you that Munny’s family were forced to move from their home into the countryside during the Khmer Rouge period in Cambodia in 1975. His father was shot by the Khmer Rouge. After that, Munny and his mother escaped but had to live in a refugee camp in Thailand until they received a visa to Australia in 1985. After finishing school in Australia, Munny started a degree in law but soon dropped out and started an apprenticeship as a baker. He was always very proud that he could support his family, including his mother.
Munny was always very close to his mother, but she died after a long battle with cancer 6 months ago. Although Munny visited his mother every day during her illness, Ary worries that he did not take time off work after she died. She says that Munny just wanted to keep going so he did not have to think about losing his mother.
When Munny comes to the centre, he was well dressed but his clothes are loose fitting. He is slumped in his chair and staring at the floor. When he is greeted by the nurse, he does not make eye contact and only gives monosyllabic answers to any questions saying ’fine’ or ’no problems’. However, when the nurse asks if Munny has ever thought about whether life was worth living, he shook his head. When asked how his family might feel if anything happened to him, Munny simply shrugs his shoulders. Munny then asks the nurse to leave him alone because he doesn’t want to talk about anything anymore.
Case Study 2: Munny Kaew