#National News

House of Hope, No Health Without Mental Health brief media on partnership

Mar 23, 2022, 12:39 PM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

House of Hope (HoH) -Gambia and No Health Without Mental Health -The Gambia (NHMH-GM) last Thursday briefed journalists on their partnership.

NHMH-GM in-line with its mission partnered with the House of Hope - Gambia under the stewardship of Freundeskreis Asyl Karlsruhe eV (Friends of Asylum Seekers NGO) to implement a project on Trauma Treatment.

The recent partnership seeks to focus on improving and increasing awareness of the populace regarding mental health, substance abuse and misuse disorders and prevention of such through advocacy and awareness campaign.

The project is being funded by Schmitz Stiftungen in Germany to train individuals on Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET), a treatment for trauma-spectrum disorders (PTSD included) in survivors of multiple and complex trauma.

It builds on the school of thought by Elbert & Schauer-the dual representation of traumatic memories. Earlier on, the two institutions jointly concluded an intensive 4-week training for Gambians from various walks of life including the Ministry of Health Mental Health Sector, NGOs and Security Services.

Certified trainers from Senegal where Freundeskreis Asyl Karlsruhe had trained for the past three and a half years in the Train-the-Trainer-Programme for NET.

Bakary Sonko, project coordinator for No Health Without Mental Health-The Gambia (NHMH-GM), acknowledged that mental health services are offered across the country but that the Ministry of Health cannot address mental health issue alone.

In order to effectively run such services in the country, he said, they need the collaboration of all players to have a viable and effective mental health services in the country.

He, however, lamented some of their challenges, which includes human resource, limited number of trained specialised personnel, financial limitation, among others.

Also speaking, Sana Bairo Sabally, country director for House of Hope (HoH) - Gambia, reminded that mental health issues in 'our culture and tradition' is a taboo.

Sabally revealed that communities are not informed of what is happening within the sector, noting that caring for mental health issues is the responsibility of every individual to ensure that the community ‘we live in are enlightened’ to what is exactly mental health.

“Let us take mental health out of the classroom and into the community by sensitising the public for a better future for everybody,” he said.

No Health without Mental Health-The Gambia (NHMH-GM), is a charity working with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare towards improving and increasing awareness of the populace regarding mental health, substance abuse and misuse disorders and prevention of such through advocacy and awareness campaign.

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