The newly constructed wellness unit situated on the compound of the C. H. Rennie hospital in Margibi has received US$1,940 from the Monrovia Club Breweries for landscaping.
To increase inpatient capacity and decentralize access to mental health services provided across the country, the National Mental Health Policy developed by the Government of Liberia and its partners called for the establishment of at least one wellness unit at each county referral hospital across the country.
In 2012, there was only one such wellness unit. Located in Bong’s Phebe Hospital; that mental health center catered to persons with mental, neurological, and substance abuse problems. Liberia has now made some progress in building wellness units in other counties including River Gee, Grand Kru and Grand Gedeh.
In the case of Grand Kru County, a space for the unit was provided in the referral hospital and refurbished by Partners in Health whereas in Maryland County, there is only a screening and consultation area.
Following the completion of the facility in Margibi, the Liberian Center for Outcomes Research in Mental Health (LICORMH) began seeking support from donors and other institutions to complete the landscaping which is the final stage of the project.
Erosion has begun threatening the newly constructed wellness unit because of heavy rains.
In an effort to protect the facility from destruction, Nelson Oniyama, managing director, Monrovia Club Breweries, presenting a check of US$1,940, said he was impressed by the effort of LICORMH to undertake a project that is meant to serve Liberians with mental problems.
“LICORMH has and continues to work and address issues affecting persons with mental illness in the country,” Oniyama said.
He said that, though Monrovia Club Breweries was not involved with the construction of the facility, he could sit and see the wellness unit being threatened by erosion, adding, “the issue of mental health in the country should not be left with LICORMH alone, but should be the concern of everyone”.
On Liberians affected with conditions the wellness unit hopes to answer, Oniyama also said he hopes to see the community taking ownership of the facility, stressing that “the wellness unit has been constructed to find answers to persons with mental illness.”
Oniyama also made a personal contribution of US$900, bringing the total amount received by LICORMH to US$2,840, for landscaping the wellness unit.
LICORMH also hopes to use the donated funds for security and safety measures at the wellness unit.
Dedicated on June 15, the US$65,500 wellness facility aims to provide services to persons with mental illness in Margibi and Montserrado counties. Funds for the facility construction were provided by the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), while the LICORMH executed the project.