GBARNGA – (LINA) – In a bid to buttress government’s effort in strengthening the Liberian health sector, Carter Center-Liberia Mental Health Unit has embarked on training for nurses from nine of Liberia’s 15 counties to work with mental health clinicians in their respective counties.
Speaking at the three-day event in Gbarnga Wednesday, Deputy Program Lead for the Mental Health Program, Mr. Wilfred Gwehkolo, indicated that the training is intended to empower the participants to refrain from “stigmatization of people living with mental illness”.
Gwehkolo further stated that the training is also aimed at educating participants on how nurses can collaborate with mental health clinicians in various counties to request for mental illness drugs.
According to him, Carter Center Liberia under its different programs trains police officers, community, religious and traditional leaders to address the stigma that people with mental health face in the communities where they sometimes come in contact with police officers.
He described pharmacists as a “point of contact” when people go to purchase drugs at clinics or hospitals and, as such, they need to be aware of mental illness and treatment to stop stigmatizing people with the ailment.
Gwehkolo said if nurses at various health centers and students in nursing schools are trained to handle mental illness cases, it will help to accommodate people living with the condition by helping them to get the appropriate medications instead of discouraging them.
He pointed out that mental illness drugs have been incorporated into essential drugs by the Ministry of Health, thereby making it important to educate nurses to work with mental health clinicians in administering different kinds of medications that come into the country.