“Corruption is a mental health issue. Because, it is unthoughtful to steal what is not yours; somebody must be sick in the mind to take 5 million dollars of the country’s money for themselves, while the rest of the people suffers from bad roads, weak educational system, bad healthcare system, bad economy, and no jobs.”
The biomedical scientist also said that those accused, indicted, ad convicted for corruption should not only be sanctioned and terminated from their positions, but they also need to be committed to mental health institutions for rehabilitation.
Furthermore, “for the citizens, to rally support and repeatedly vote for corrupt individuals, it shows that we have some kind of mental problem as well in this country [Liberia],” Dr. Nyan stated.
Dr. Nyan made the statements when he served as guest speaker for the commemoration of the World Mental Health Day held in the city of Gompa, Nimba County, an in-land mining area of Liberia.
During the programme, Dr. Nyan also sounded the alarm on the “traumatic effect of rape of our girls and women, and sodomy of boys, and violence against women,” and warned against alcohol and substance abuse.
The scientist also lamented that, “the whole country seems to still be traumatized since the 14-year long civil war, the killing of student leaders and over 250,000 Liberians, as well as the bloody overthrow of President Tolbert and the killing of 13 of his official.”
“These events account for traumatic situations in our country’s history which may have led to different forms of mental disorders such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, but we have had no real counseling of victims and survivals,” he said.
The WHO estimates that over 400,000 people in Liberia are living with some form of mental disorders, while about 130,000 more may suffering from severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The program was organized by the Organization for the Promotion of Mental Health (OMEHPRO) which is headed by Aaron Debah, a lecturer at the Winifred J. Harley College of Health Sciences of the United Methodist University. OMEHPRO was established about ten years ago to educate the population about issues of mental and advocate for support to people suffering from mental disorders.
Dr. Nyan urged government to support mental health institutions for more community awareness to be conducted, support of and justice for victims of rape victims/survivors; and construction of regional facilities to address and treat mental health patients.