By Antoinette Sendolo
As Liberia joins the World tomorrow to celebrate World Mental Health Day, the Chief Medical officer, and Deputy Minister of Health Dr. Francis Ketter has called on citizens to buttress government’s efforts in dealing with Mental Health problems in the country.
Speaking at the Ministry of Information regular press briefing, Dr. Ketteh explained that there are only two psychiatric homes in the country and the number of mentally ill people is huge therefore, the issue of mental illness must be taken seriously.
He disclosed that the Ministry of Health recently trained about 166 mental health practitioners in response to the huge numbers of people suffering from mental disorder in the country.
The Chief Medical Officer noted that the training was part of the government’s process to adequately respond to the issue of mental health which he said has become alarming across Liberia.
“There is a need for every citizen in the country to work along in buttressing government’s efforts to respond to people with mental illness because everybody experiences some mental disorder one way or the other,” Dr. Ketteh added.
He added that in addition to the government’s efforts to deal with mental health issue, the Ministry of Health will officially celebrate the World Mental Health Day under the theme:” Dignity in Mental Health”.
Dr. Ketteh explained that the theme: “Dignity in Mental Health” was chosen because dignity is the quality or state of being worthy and honored and the mentally ill person is valuable, important, and can be useful to the society, noting that they deserve to be treated with care and respect as human.
According to him the world health organization has selected Dignity in mental health as its theme for this year’s celebration in order to remind the World that people with mental disorder should be treated with respect and dignity something he said has the ability to increase their chances of recovering from their mental illness.
The Chief Medical Officer stressed that mental illness is not restricted to people who are referred to as“crazy people” it includes, depression and trauma among others.