E.S. Grant Mental Health Hospital in Liberia: striving to help people with mental illness get well
Estimates from WHO suggest that 15-20% of Liberians are suffering from mild to moderate mental disorders, and a further 3-4% from severe mental disorders. Some people are still experiencing the psychological impact of the civil conflict that beset the country during the 1990s and years following the turn of the century. The health and social impacts of the recent Ebola outbreak have compounded the need for support for mental health services. An estimated 98% of people with mental illness are not receiving treatment. WHO recommends that mental health care be provided in the community, yet many countries still have mental hospitals.
The E.S. Grant Mental Health Hospital in Monrovia is the only mental health hospital in Liberia. This photo story describes the facility and its needs for reform and renovation as interim measures towards full community-based facilities.
Generally, it is family members who bring people to the facility. Occasionally it is police officers; they bring people who are thought to be suffering from mental illness. It is very common for people to be abandoned by family members when they are discharged.