Health officials reoriented on mental health

Tuesday, December 01, 2015
A two-day basic mental health training for frontline health workers ended at the Medical Research Council (MRC) at the weekend.

The intensive training was organised by Mobee Gambia mental health project in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and MRC.

The training was designed for 25 participants from MRC, Mobee Gambia mental health project, Ministry of Health, and AFg UK.

The training was meant to offer the trainees knowledge and skills about mental illness, and how to help and support an individual experiencing mental health problems.

The capacity building was also geared towards promoting general awareness about mental health challenges such as stigma, social isolation and lack of support for people with mental health problems.

Speaking on the occasion, Bakary Sonko, programme manager for mental health at the Ministry of Health, said the ministry alone cannot provide all the training needs in terms of service delivery.

Therefore, he said, Mobee Gambia mental health project’s stepping in will help in addressing some of the misconceptions about mental health.

He said the participants will be exposed to clinical diagnostic, legal framework and group approach to mental health.

The director of Mobee Gambia mental health project, Salifu Manneh, said they offered the training for the participants to better understand mental health and ways to manage people with the disorder.

He added that the training would further help participants to have some basic understanding about issues surrounding mental health.

Mr Manneh said his organisation has been conducting such trainings; the first one was conducted in West Coast Region for security personnel.

“In a bid to reduce stigma, we feel it is important that we train people to know more about mental illness,” he said.

The director of Mobee Gambia said the impact of the training could be great in the sense that most of the participants work in the frontline in terms of mental health.

“So [after the training], they will be in good position to conduct an assessment and refer people to the appropriate services,” he said.

Author: Abdoulie Nyockeh