By Emmanuel Wise Jipoh
The Management of the E. S. Grant Mental Hospital, located in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, is calling on the Government of Liberia to provide financial and other technical support to enable the facility effectively handle the many challenges threatening its operations.
In an exclusive news interview with the Focus Newspaper at her Paynesville offices, the Hospital’s Chief Administrator, Comfort Cooper, lamented the many challenges, including inadequate medication and beds and space, which are causing patients to be turned away unattended.
In the view of Madam Cooper, there is an urgent need that the Liberian Government pays more attention to the situation of its citizens who are suffering from mental problems, as well as, support institutions engaged in providing medical services for them in the country.
She urged the Government to speedily intervene in the case of limited space confronting the E. S. Grant Mental Health Hospital, which can only accommodate at most 80 inmates at a time.
According to her, scores of other seriously ill persons with mental illness and seeking treatment at the facility are being often turned away, due to lack of sufficient space and beds, while calling for government’s the Government urgent intervention, so as to arrest and alleviate the situation.
Madam Cooper is at the same time calling on the George Weah led Government, to now consider all logical reasons, to include institutions providing medical and other services for persons suffering mental illnesses across Liberia.
The E. S. Grant Hospital’s Chief Administrator predicted a bleak future for mental health sufferers in Liberia, “if government fails to begin to include related care facilities in its Annual Fiscal Budgets, which could lead to a proliferation of mentally deranged people on the streets of every major town and city in the country. She further called for the urgent adaption of a national policy, basic budgetary support and actions, to address the rising levels of mental illnesses.
“There must also be focus on investing upstream measures, to prevent mental health problems from developing and escalating into future crisis proportions”, she said.
Currently, Madam Cooper disclosed, her facility is catering to eighty patients, forty males and forty females, and can take no more, due to inadequate accommodations.
She cautioned young people to avoid indulging in dangerous narcotic drugs and other equally harmful substances, which are the root causes of the growing mental health problems in the country.