Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor has encouraged recent graduates of the Cater Center Mental Health Training program to diligently work in serving mentally ill people in Liberia.
Vice President Howard-Taylor said, although there is need for more mental health clinicians to be trained and deployed across the country, those who have acquired the skills should be committed to serving mentally ill people and help communities to end any form of stigmatizations against them.
According to a release from the office of the Vice President, Vice President Howard-Taylor believes this will foster and sustain the advocacy against discriminations, stigmatizations and to provide adequate health care for people living with mental illness in the country.
Vice President Howard-Taylor also noted that the deployment of at least one mental health clinician at every health center is necessary, because Liberians have gone through years of high and increasing stress, which contributed to widespread mental illnesses and disorders.
She explained that many of the mental health problems confronting Liberians, most especially young people, could be avoided if trained cadres of mental health clinicians are available and adequately supported to provide needed mental healthcare services across the country.
Vice President Taylor made the statement over the weekend in Kakata, Marigibi County, when she served as keynote speaker at the Cater Center fourth cohort graduation ceremony of 19 Child and Adolescent Mental Health Clinicians. She emphasized that the role of mental health clinicians for children and adolescents in Liberia is cardinal, especially given that many teenage girls become breadwinners prematurely and assume significant responsibilities for their family.
Vice President Howard-Taylor said, as a result, many females are self-raised and are parents without being imbued with parental skills. “The combination has left most of the entire country vulnerable due to trauma experienced coupled with the ability to be duly counseled,”.“The aftermath of children bearing children and its complications with trauma, have placed the burden of mental health at the apex in tackling the health care delivery system in the country.” she said.
Vice President Howard-Taylor thanked the Cater Center for its support toward improving mental health services in Liberia and mentioned that the government will continue to work with the Cater Center and other partners in furtherance of more important and meaningful advances in critical mental health and substance use services in the country.
Vice President Howard-Taylor congratulated the newly trained mental health clinicians for putting in their time and encouraged them to practice what they have learnt in accordance with their professional ethics by keeping to the oath they have taken to serve mentally ill people without any form of discriminations or stigmatizations.
Presenting five hundred United States dollars as a token of appreciation to the graduates, Vice President Howard-Taylor praised the “sense of relief” that mental health clinicians’ presence within the healthcare delivery system of Liberia has brought to many families.
“Your training enables you to make a huge positive impact on the lives of children and adolescents, and you will have the opportunity to improve the social, educational, emotional, and psychological well-being of our country,” Vice President Howard-Taylor told the graduates.
The Cater Center Child and Adolescent Post-Basic Mental Health Training program is part of a three-year initiative to promote psychosocial health in Liberia.