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The Cure

Mending Minds - Part 1

Ten years after a violent civil war, Liberia has only two psychiatrists and one inpatient mental health facility.

Last Modified: 28 Aug 2013 08:37
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Between 1989 and 2003, Liberia was torn apart by brutal civil wars that left around 250,000 people dead and millions more suffering.

But despite high rates of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, the country has only two psychiatrists and one inpatient mental health facility.

This dearth of support means that people often either go undiagnosed or turn to traditional or spiritual healers for help. Many believe that mental illness is caused by witchcraft or demonic possession.

Reporter Sharita Hutton travels across Liberia to see how some people with mental health problems or conditions such as epilepsy are shackled with chains or treated with herbal remedies or prayer.

In a bid to improve care, Liberian Dr Janice Cooper is leading efforts by the charity The Carter Center to train medical staff in mental healthcare.

They aim to teach 150 nurses and physician assistants by 2015.

 

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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