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Poor conditions cause more mental illness cases among Malakal IDPs

Author: Ayuen Panchol | Published: Thursday, August 1, 2019

Helmer Charris, MSF Field Coordinator in Malakal | Credit | MSF

“Long-standing trauma” and poor living conditions in U.N camp in Malakal is causing more cases of mental health, medical charity MSF has said.

Malakal is one of the towns that have been greatly affected by the five years of conflict.

People lost lives, homes destroyed, and others displaced to UN camp.

Currently, 17,435 people, mostly women and children have been sheltering at the POC in Malakal.

They are said to be living in squalid conditions – resulting in more cases of mental illness.

The MSF Field Coordinator in Malakal, Helmer Charris, says in 2018 alone, MSF recorded 51 suicide attempts, almost one person per week in Malakal PoC.

As a result, Charris said MSF established a health facility to care for such patients.

“We are offering a mental health service which is quite comprehensive, which includes counselling, clinical psychology and also includes the psychiatric department,” Charris stated.

“So, with these three services we are able to provide treatment to all the patients we have with mental health diseases. We are also able to provide drugs whenever the condition of the patient is complicated.”

Over 2,400 mental health consultations including both individual and group consultations were conducted in Malakal in 2018, MSF said.

Throughout the first five months of 2019, it said, the number of mental health consultations provided has remained high.

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