The C.H. Rennie Hospital in Kakata, Margibi County, over the weekend received a National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) funded modern mental health home, known as Wellness Unit, that contains dormitories for men and women as well as a laboratory unit.
The NOCAL sponsored project was done in collaboration with The Carter Center (TCC) Mental Health Program, and implemented by the Liberia Center for Outcome and Research in Mental Health (LICORM).
The facility is intended to provide mental health services to Margibi and its surrounding counties.
Sharon George, NOCAL’s Corporate Social Relations Lead, said the entity collaborated with LICORM to construct the facility, in order to solve mental health-related problems, because Liberians deserve better health services.
NOCAL, which has been embroiled in a barrage of controversies of late, has undergone many stages of reforms and is endeavoring to rebrand its name, to once again serve as a beacon or fulcrum of humanitarian and social services.
According to Ms. George, the entity has considered constructing many wellness units across the country.
“We want to see how we can work with our partners to have similar facilities in other parts of the country,” George said while expressing delight to LICORM for the level of commitment in implementing the project.
In 2010, TCC launched an initiative to help create a sustainable mental health system in the country, which focuses on training a mental health workforce as well as assisting the government in implementing a national mental health policy, reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness and empowering family caregivers.
Dr. Janice Cooper, the Center’s Mental Health Project Lead, was impressed by the level of work that has been done. She lauded LICORM for lobbying with NOCAL to provide funds for the implementation of the wellness unit project.
The construction of the facility was done in compliance with the National Mental Health Policy of Liberia.
“Policy calls for the construction of wellness units in all the 15 counties, and so, I am glad that Margibi County now has one,” Dr. Cooper said, while pledging TCC’s continuous support to mental health programs in the country.
C.H. Rennie Hospital Medical Director Asinya Magnus lauded partners for prioritizing the issue of mental health as it is becoming a serious problem. He said the construction of the unit is in line with his administration’s quest to improve the capacity of the hospital.
Dr. Magnus meanwhile promised to ensure that the facility is kept clean and functional at all times.
A member of LICORM Board, Ezekiel F. Hallie, lauded NOCAL for funding the project, indicating that the need for mental health in the country is paramount.
Hallie indicated that mental health problems in Liberia need serious attention and the construction of wellness centers could help address some of these concerns.