A wellness Unit, intended for mentally disturbed and other mental-related illnesses, has been opened at the Phebe Hospital in Suakoko, Bong County.
At the opening of the unit over the weekend, An Assistant Health Minister for Curative Services has emphasized the importance of mental health services to the Liberian population.
Dr. Moses Pewu acknowledged that though the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare did not include mental health in its five-year health plan, it has put into place programs to address the issue of mental health.
Dr. Pewu noted that the ministry has now included mental health in its ten-year plan to elevate the sector to another level in the coming years.
According to him, the issue of health was not just about being free from disease, but a state of complete well-being, stressing that until one dies, he or she will not be free of illness.
Dr. Pewu further assured that the issue of mental health services will continue to be seriously addressed by the Liberian government.
Dr. Pewu spoke recently at thwe Phebe Hospital and School of Nursing in Central Liberia when he dedicated the new Wellness Unit of the hospital.
Bong County Superintendent Lucia Herbert reminded health workers about the challenges in catering to mental or psychological problems.
Herbert admonished the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to consider the issue of mental health seriously for a country like Liberia that has a very huge number of war participants.
The Superintendent emphasized the urgent need for government programs to address mental illnesses. Madam Herbert commended health workers for their services to humanity in Bong County despite the many challenges.
The Unit, referred to as the Peter C. Alderman Wellness Unit, is sponsored by an American family whose son died in the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York on September 9, 2001.
The initiative is part of the family’s memory to their son. Also speaking at the dedication of the unit, the Co-founder of the Peter C. Alderman Foundation expressed gladness about the extension of their activities in Liberia.
Dr. Steven Alderman, who read a brief history of the foundation, said the foundation also provides some support for victims of terrorism and those suffering from other forms of trauma.
Dr. Alderman expressed the hope of extending their activities in all parts of the country to enable those in various parts of the country have access to the foundation’s services. He said over the next few years, his institution will continue to ensure that its work affects the lives of citizens.
Dr. Alderman spoke of the cooperation enjoyed from the government since their arrival here to establish the institution. During the ceremony, four mental health nurses who attended training in Uganda, were unveiled by health authorities in Bong County.
The training in Uganda was sponsored by the foundation. Presently, the Peter C. Alderman Foundation has a foreign psychiatric assigned at its Center at the Phebe Hospital in Suakoko, Bong County.