According to the World Health Organization (WHO), schizophrenia affects approximately 24 million people worldwide. No matter where one lives, this mental health condition can severely affect an individual’s ability to function in society, finish an education, gain employment, or live independently. Even in the U.S., where specialized resources and support are available, people suffering from schizophrenia still often face barriers to receiving and maintaining consistent treatment.
For “Juan,” a 38-year-old man who suffers from chronic schizophrenia and lives in Honduras, access to such treatment is scarce and often unaffordable. The mental health care system in Honduras is very poor, with insufficient funding for mental health and a severe inequity in access to services – most mental health professionals are concentrated in the capital city, an arduous trip from the little town of Copán, where Juan lives. There are simply no resources in the area to help him, and even if there were, he would not be able to afford consistent care. (WHO source for the above paragraph: https://www.who.int/mental_health/honduras_who_aims_english.pdf?ua=1)
Fortunately, Juan crossed paths with Dr. Gordon and the Haven Universe (HU) mission team. Haven Universe, an organization that specializes in serving those with special needs and disabilities and their caregivers, has provided ongoing psychiatric care and medication for Honduran patients since 2010.
HU provides all care and medications without cost to their patients, a blessing made possible by partners like MAP International.
Thanks to MAP, Juan has been able to receive the mental health medication that is “crucial for mental stability and aids him to be out in the community,” says HU Executive Director Lynn Poznanski. “It is imperative that he continues this medicine that you provide.”
Because of MAP, Juan – and other HU clients like him – has been given the chance to participate in his community, when he otherwise would have been isolated.
In addition to providing consistent mental health medications for patients like Juan, HU also provides general medical treatment to Hondurans during their short-term medical brigades.
These medical brigades often travel with basic medicines and health supplies from MAP – items like antibiotics, antacids, pain reliever, and skin creams. On a recent trip, the volunteer HU medical team served approximately 625 people at their mobile clinic. “This health and welfare would not be possible to many Hondurans without your continual support of Haven Universe,” Poznanski wrote to MAP.