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Page added on March 20, 2012

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Mental health policy should not be left to gather dust

Mental health policy should not be left to gather dust thumbnail

As the rate of madness among youths increases in Sierra Leone, Civil Society Organizations across the country have started to ask, what is wrong with the National Mental Health Policy and strategic plan which President Koroma had promised the country since 2009?

Organizations dealing with youths and drugs are yearning to see the actualization of the policy and its strategic plan because there is no way one can separate mental illness from drugs abuse as research has shown that five out of ten youths in the country is either abusing drugs or go narcotic which often results in mental illnesses.

The long awaited mental health policy, I was told, is in line with the Ouagadougou Declarations, which is coupled with the strategic plans focusing the primary Health Care Policy that deals with issues like the construction of mental homes in all provincial districts, the availability of and access to psychotic medicines at all levels, specialized training for mental health services for supervision and referral of acute and severe cases.

The Ministry of Health and Sanitation and it international partners must speed up the process as stakeholders consultations and technical workshops have not been held since 2009.

The actualization of the policy and the strategic plan will not only be registered as a political goal scored alone, but also as a way of decongesting the already crowded capital Freetown, as beggars and mental disorderly patients have contributed approximately fifteen percent to the influx.

The Northern Head Quarter Town of Makeni hosted a greater percent of mental disorderly patients roaming the length and breath of the town from cock crow ’til dawn with no mental homes to lay their weary heads at night which indisputably is an eye-sore to both the normal persons and investors coming into the country to do business.

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