MAP International, The Carter Center and the Liberian Ministry of Health have formed a new partnership to combat a growing mental health crisis in Liberia.
MAP is joining with The Carter Center, to provide neuropsychiatric medicines and supplies to the Liberian Ministry of Health. These medications will be distributed to hospitals, health centers, and clinics (public and private) throughout Liberia, where there are trained health care workers, including mental health clinicians.
The first shipment of medicine left MAP’s Global Medicines Distribution Center February 22, arrived in Liberia February 25 and is being processed for distribution by the Ministry of Health.
“Access to neuropsychiatric medication is a step in the efforts to bolster mental wellness in Liberians. We are grateful that this partnership with MAP International complements our work with the Liberian Ministry of Health to reduce suffering and increase the quality of life for those living with mental illnesses in Liberia,” said Mary Ann Peters, Carter Center CEO.
A decade of civil conflict and the outbreak of Ebola have created a mental health crisis in Liberia that has been intensified by misconceptions, stigma, and the resulting discrimination surrounding mental illnesses.
The Ebola outbreak in 2014 exacerbated mental health problems and exposed the impacts of the shortage of mental health care trained professionals and inadequate supplies of essential neuropsychiatric medications. The Carter Center has supported the Liberian government to strengthen the mental health system and respond to the intermediate psychosocial impact of the Ebola outbreak.
|Working with the Liberian government and partners, The Carter Center has helped to create a corps of over 230 locally trained and credentialed mental health clinicians now serving all 15 counties in the country.
(Photo courtesy The Carter Center)
Dr. Francis Kateh, Deputy Minister of Health, Chief Medical Officer, and acting Minister of Health in Liberia, said:
“The integration of mental health care services into the primary health care system is vital to Liberia’s future development and overall prosperity. Due to the mental health impacts of Liberia’s civil unrest, mental health service provision at the primary level is essential in fulfillment of the essential package of health services provided by the government.
People with mental health conditions may have trouble managing everyday life tasks at school, work, or maintaining relationships. The medicine donated by MAP International through The Carter Center is highly appreciated, and it will go a long way in helping clients suffering from bipolar disorders and epilepsy. One of the major challenges of providing care for those people is the lack of essential neuropsychiatric medications.”
“This represents a critical extension of our mission. We work best in partnership with others. The programs being carried out by the Ministry and the Carter Center will have a much greater impact for the people of Liberia because of MAP’s participation,” Steve Stirling, MAP President and CEO
We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Carter Center and the Ministry of Health to help those suffering from mental illness in Liberia. Join us as we pray for the individuals receiving these medications and their fast recovery.