Jul 19, 2010, 1:27 PM
Mental Health Gambia, in collaboration with the Alternative Forest Group based
in the United Kingdom, recently awarded seven of their staff members with
certificates at a ceremony held at their Brusubi office.
This was done to motivate and encourage their staff to work harder in discharging their duties as they administer medication to people with mental health problems.
The seven staff members were awarded certificates after undergoing weeklong intensive capacity training on mental health problems and other related matters.
The rigorous training was held to expose their staff to mental health issues and awareness in the country.
In his speech on the occasion, Salifu Manneh, Director of Mobee Mental Health Gambia, said the certificates were given out to recognize his workers for their “tremendous contribution” in rendering their health services, skills and professional duties.
He thanked their landlord for his invaluable contribution to their efforts.
“Mental health needs to be at the forefront of everything that we do, and today you cannot have national development without the wellbeing of the people,” Mr Manneh said.
Mental wellbeing and physical wellbeing are intertwined, hence cannot be separated, he added.
He said they would work with the Ministry of Health to make mental health services robust and responsive to the need of the people. “I think that is very important,” he added.
He said for every service to be successful, it has to be accessed by the local community 24/7.
“It has to be responsive to the local community’s need; otherwise there will be no point in providing those services,” he said. “That’s why Mobee Mental Project is focused on pertinent and relevant services that are going to bring about some changes.”
He said people stigmatise mental health problems, which aggravates the problem especially for people suffering from such condition.
“We need to be having small gatherings, to sensitize the local people that mental wellbeing and mental problem are everywhere, and it does not know whether you are rich or poor, it has no boundary,” he explained.
Mr Manneh further acknowledged the Government of The Gambia, citing that “all this is geared towards complementing government’s effort at changing minds and negative perceptions of people towards mental health problems.
Delivering some words of wisdom and encouragement at the function, Kirstine Fergusson of the Alternative Forest Group based in the UK, expressed joy and appreciation to be associated with the event, saying: “This is joyful moment as these certificates will help staff in their careers to deal well with mental health signs and symptoms.”