The New Dawn (Monrovia)

Liberia: No Support for Mental Health

A Bong County Mental Health Coordinator says the lack of support is a serious hindrance to the smooth operation of the Mental Health Unit on the Bong County Health Team. Mr. Darkarmue Kollie told the New Dawn-Liberia in Gbarnga, Bong County that mental health activities were considered lightly by Liberian health authorities, emphasizing urgent need for support to the sector.

According to him, the issues confronting mental health in the county were minor, but those charged with the responsibility to address such issues continue to ignore such responsibility.

He added that in a post-country like Liberia where many are mentally disturbed and traumatized, there must be programs in place to address the situation, noting that if the mental health sector in the country must deliver the requisite services, a lot must be done to improve the sector.

He said mentally ill people were roaming the streets in Gbarnga due to the lack of facility for rehabilitation, expressing the fear that that the number of "mad people" roaming around in Bong County might increase if prompt actions were not taken.

Meanwhile, the Bong County Mental Health Coordinator has warned Bong County citizens against using mentally idled people in the county to amuse them. He appealed to the county authorities to provide a parcel of land for the mental health unit on the County Health Team for future use, stressing that if the land space was available, they would engage partners for the construction of a psychiatric home in the county.

"Most of the times you see people asking the mentally disadvantaged to dance for money or do other things; this is very wrong," the mental health coordinator stated, adding "people with mental illness need comfort if they must overcome their conditions".

He clarified that his unit, a component of Curety health at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare was not only directly focusing on the mentally disadvantaged, but also people undergoing post-traumatic disorders.

Mr. Kollie extolled French Ngo Medicins Du' Monde for its tireless support to the Mental Health in the County and expressed fears as to what will happen after the departure of the French-based organization, as government was not fully providing support to Mental Health Programs in the country.

He said medicins Du Monde, now preparing to draw down, has significantly contributed to mental health and the entire Bong County health system.

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