Christian-Led Mental Health Initiatives in Sierra Leone
As noted in previous Newsletters, in late 2017 SAVE raised almost $12,000 for recovery efforts related to the devastating mudslide in the Regent area of Freetown – most of this from the Eastbrook Church in Milwaukee Wisconsin. Of these funds, $3,000 each was quickly transferred to three of SAVE’s partners who were already actively involved in ongoing recovery efforts there. But we allocated the final $3,000 (plus another $1,500) to help address the mental / emotional distress related to the catastrophe.
We engaged our partner DISCET in the planning of this effort. DISCET is well recognized as having only the highest reputation in the independent counseling movement in the country. Their goal has always been to reach all the country for Christ in our lifetimes, and one of the arms of their services has always been counseling.
In June of 2019 after months of planning and coordinating, DISCET presented the PTSD Training Conference for Mental Health Professionals. The attendance exceeded even the highest expectations, and was so well received, all the professionals requested a subsequent more expansive conference. Reverend Steven Mahoney and his team at DISCET got to work to coordinate Phase II of the training with the Mental Health Coalition, which was delivered with great anticipation in November 2019.
The conference concluded with certificates of training being awarded, and perhaps more importantly, the launching of a national counseling body – Professional Counsellors Association, Sierra Leone. We are so blessed by DISCET’s involvement as leaders in this movement to keep Gospel values incorporated in mental health treatments.