A youth group based in New Georgia Gulf Community, Gardnersville is calling on Government through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to construct mental health care centers across the country.
Speaking in a press release, the secretary general of the group, Soon B. Norien said there are many mentally-ill persons in the streets of Monrovia, living in deplorable conditions that may cause health hazard for the Liberian people.
He said Government should build conducive shelters and recruit more therapists and mental health counselors for these people because they are Liberians and should have access to treatment and other suitable facilities.
Mr. Norien said national government should provide increased funding and resources to integrated mental health services as a matter of urgency, saying, in the first instance; Government must give priority to redirecting funds from high fees institution to social services.
Norien said the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare needs to insure there are adequately trained psychiatrists to be on call for 24 hours seven days a week in mental health care centers.
“With mentally-ill people roaming the streets, is not good for the health of Liberians because there are people, who are selling foods broadly in the streets, while Liberians are still drinking from pits; it’s not good for our various communities”, he noted.
According to him, it is not also safe for children, who are going to school every day, especially female students as they risk being sexually harassed by mentally-ill people.
Moreover, these mentally challenged persons are involved in throwing stones at vehicles and chasing people without reasons and are also naked in the streets, causing embarrassment for children and the entire public, he said.
“These people are the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our community, suffering from widespread discrimination and are con consistently denied rights and services to which they are entitled.”