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Youth leaders visit Psychiatric home

Jun 2, 2011, 12:45 PM | Article By: Yusuf Ceesay

Youth leaders from various organisations in their four-day training in peace-building and crime prevention with Youth Crime Watch The Gambia (YCWG), recently visited Tanka Tanka Psychiatric Hospital.

The visit, according to officials, was meant to impress on youths about the vulnerability of young people to psychiatric and mental disorder due to drugs.

Speaking during a conducted tour of the centre, Abdul Jobe of YCWG said the visit was part of their training programme under the theme, “Building the institutional capacity of Youth Crime Watch The Gambia for Youth Participation in National Development and Promotion of Peace.”

He revealed that the YCWG wants to champion the course of directing the focus of the youth into the possibilities of achieving a society where young people will be the engine of growth.

He noted that most of the patients seeking treatment at the hospital are youths addicted to drugs, which always leads to their mental illness. “The visit should increase the championing campaign for the fight against drugs, as you have practically seen the reality of how vulnerable youth are to abuse of substance,” Mr Jobe said, adding that the youth constitute the highest number of patients in the psychiatric hospital.

He tasked the youth leaders to take the opportunity of visiting the centre very important, as it would make them more active in the crusade against drugs.

“Young people are very vulnerable when it comes to mental disorders,” said the Senior Nurse, Ann Marie Mendy, adding that the youth are the dominant victims.

According to her, the youth are sometimes faced with challenges in situations where patients discharge and return to treatment.

She said: “75% of mentally ill patients at the psychiatric hospital are young people who have been drug abusers.”

The senior nurse highlighted the hospital’s success in treatment procedure, noting that the hospital is a subsidiary of Campama, which also treats mental sickness in The Gambia.

She applauded the government’s efforts in the fight against drugs, while urging the youth to collaborate among themselves to fight for a drug-free society. 

She also commended the YCWG and the youth leaders for their effort in discouraging drug abuse, as well as challenged them to further champion the crusade against the menace.