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MHC celebrates World Mental Health Day with Hosetta Abdallah School

October 14, 2019

By Yusufu S. Bangura

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Members of MHC, Hosetta Abdallah staff  and pupils pose for photo during the celebration

As last Thursday, 10th October marked the World Mental Health Day, Mental Health Coalition (MHC) in partnership with the World Health Organizationn and Handicap International commemorated the day with the theme “Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention.”

During the celebration, Mental Health Coalition donated some food items plus used clothes to different mental homes, including Hosetta Abdallah Memorial Home for Children, Old People’s Home and City of Rest at Kissy in Freetown.

The World Mental Health Day is a day that the United Nations set aside to commemorate and raise awareness, sensitize and advocate mental health issues in various countries around the world. The celebration was graced by   Partners in Health, Miss Salone 2019 and other key stakeholders.

Speaking during the ceremony, Chairman for Mental Health Coalition, Walter Carew, said mental health is a sickness that affects people in the country and that the celebration was to raise awareness around the issue.

He said to commemorate the day in a unique way, they organised a march past from Ferry Junction to the Sierra Leone Psychotic  Teaching Home at Kissy, as a way to educate, sensitise and advocate  mental health issues, and subsequently gain more attention for investment and to change the attitude of people towards those with mental health.

Medical Superintendent at the Psychotic Teaching Hospital Kissy, Dr. Abdul Jalloh underscored the fact that mental health has been neglected for far too long, hence they were raising awareness to ensure that people go on well emotionally for the development of the country.

He called on all to play key role in preventing suicide in communities.

 “Mental health should be made unhidden by making sure that everyone affected with mental illness get quality health care,” he said.

Executive Director of Partners in Health (PIH) Sierra Leone, Jon Lascher, thanked the organizers and everyone for joining them in commemorating the world mental health day.

He said two years ago, when PIH started working at the psychotic teaching hospital, they dreamt about the celebration by constructing  a new training centre and having a program inside the hospital, with 24 hours electricity and  pipe born water.

He said they  can end stigma  provided there is clinic services and care for patients that are suffering from mental health disorder, and that the first step to end stigma is by making sure that care is accessible to all patients .

Technical Advisor at Handicap International, Hege Hind, said suicide is very a important and difficult topic, because people commit it almost every year all over the world.

“We are happy that we are able to support the psychotic hospital with small space for a better building and to contribute for the well-being of the patients that are admitted in the hospital and also take part in activities at the hospital,” she said.

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