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Mental Health a national crisis

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Liberia’s Deputy Minister of Health and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Francis Kateh alarms here the Liberian society is gradually getting to crisis proportion with people having mental problems. He says people mentally ill will have negative impact on the society.

Speaking at the Ministry of Information Regular Press Briefing Thursday, 04 October Doctor Kateh discloses about 6,000 of the boy and girls in Liberia are mentally ill, noting most of it is as a result of high substances they take in. He says every week, about eight families are targeted by one of those mentally ill boys girls in order to maintain their habit.

He says Liberia joins the world to celebrate World Mental Health Day on October 10, 2018, under the theme, “Young people and mental health in a changing World.”The Deputy Health Minister continues that through the Liberia Refugees Repatriation Resettlement Commission and other programs, the ministry has educated people on mental health and will continue to do so.

He says the pending celebration would include awareness to various communities to spread the message, including indoor program to discuss in details, the meaning of Mental Health and its causes, and ways in which everyone could get in involved to help the situation.

“We have a crisis and we all need to work together as a team to help combat this mental health issue. If you think it is affecting one person and that person is not your relative, your relative could be affected by that person, it is a collective work”, Dr. Kateh emphasizes.

The Officer-In-Charge of the World Health Organization or WHO Dr. Mesfin Zbeblo stresses Mental Health is very important and needs to be dealt with, adding, “The issue of mental health is very devastating and it is causing problem among young people.”

Dr. Zbeblo says the WHO is partnering with the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health, and they have recognized Mental Health as an issue that needs serious attention before it spoils the society, warning that it affects anyone regardless of age or sex.

By Ethel A. Tweh–Editing by Jonathan Browne

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