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Mental Health Network trains journalists

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Mental Health Reporters Network here in partnership with Last Mile Health under the project “Reporting on COVID-19 Distilling Ep-surveillance for the media” has hosted a two-day workshop in Monrovia for both print and electronic media employees.

Mental Health Reporter and trainer Al-Varney Rogers said the initiative under the auspices of Last Mile Health was conceived to enhance journalists’ knowledge on reporting mental health issues especially, during the Coronavirus pandemic.

He said amid the pandemic they are concerned if mentally-ill people have access to drugs, noting that at the government-run E.S. Grant mental home, patients struggle in getting supply regularly, which poses a challenge for them.

The communication manager at PREVAIL, HansanKaiwu, says during epidemics or pandemics and natural disaster, effective risk communication allows people at risk to adapt protective behavior. He noted that it allows experts to listen to people’s concerns and needs to provide pieces of advice that are relevant, trusted and acceptable.

He added that risk communication in every disaster has three phases; preparedness, response and recovery stage, noting that Liberia is still in the response stage, as the country still battles coronavirus, while stressing the need for accurate and timely information.

A member of the Mental Health network and a facilitator, ZezeBallah said the Catherine Mills Rehabilitation center is a government-owned facility located in ELWA community that provided care for people living with mental illnesses, but it has now been taken over by squatters, disclosing that since then there has been a case in court by the JFK to get those squatters off, which is proving difficult.

By Ethel A. Tweh

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