Rescue Liberians with Mental Illness


ormer Liberian journalist who spent 14 years working in various departments in the United States’ mental health system has returned home requesting the support of the Liberian government to assist Liberians who are mentally challenged and abandoned by society.
“I have seen them roaming the streets, and I’ve seen a few who are completely naked,” said Sam Larmin, in an interview with the Daily Observer on Saturday in Monrovia.
He said he wants the Liberian government to create an institution that can be replicated throughout the country to save Liberians who suffer from various degrees of mental illness.
Mr. Larmin said he has recently returned home to offer his expertise to his country to help rescue Liberians who suffer from emotional, physical and intellectual mental disabilities.
“Those who suffer such disabilities are also Liberian citizens who, I think, with commitment, our country can help to restore and give them another chance in life,” Larmin said.
He said there are several causes of mental illness, of which the abuse of drugs is one while others are bipolar (Bipolar disorder, formerly manic depression, is a mental illness described by alternating periods of depression and elevated mood), and those who are unable to make themselves heard due to their inability to communicate effectively.
Larmin said such individuals need special care to help them regain control of their speaking function and to once again make them a useful part of society.
He said he returned home to promote and encourage the empowerment of people with significant challenges so that each may pursue their highest possible degree of personal wellbeing and independence.
“I’ve returned with a mission and what I learned working with the various mental health institutions I can make use of to help my people,” he stated.
Larmin said people with developmental disabilities, to whom he provided high levels of quality direct care support while he was in the United States, also benefited from leisure and instructional activities that enhanced their independent living and social skills, and community access.
“I know the Liberian government can find some means to rescue Liberians with mental disability by making it a priority since their presence on the streets does not speak well of us as a people, and as a government that must care for its people,” Larmin said.
He explained that there are organizations in the United States and elsewhere that are willing to join the partnership if the Liberian government can accept his request to create an institution with the sole purpose of providing support to rescue Liberian citizens who are found roaming the streets without hope, simply because they are unable to use their mental abilities to take care of themselves.
He described Liberians who are mentally challenged as “victims of circumstances,” adding that the government of Liberia must intervene and rescue them. Larmin appealed to the government to give him the opportunity to rescue these Liberians.
Larmin went through the ranks as a journalist in the 1980s, working as a Column Editor with the former Sports Chronicle; as Editor in Chief of the Monrovia Weekend newspaper; Manager of The Mail newspaper; Editor for the Human Rights Review; Editor for The Eye newspaper; Director of Research and Planning of the Council of State (COS); and Press Secretary to the late Tamba Taylor of the COS.


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