Because the Govt Director of ADAA, I’m at all times thrilled after we notice our work is making a distinction and that we’re reaching farther and wider. So, when the Hadassah Basis, a psychological well being group in Cameroon, contacted ADAA with a request to entry our free member-created, publicly out there, evidence-based sources, we not solely acquiesced, we collaborated.
I’m excited to introduce this new partnership, which reveals the great attain our members have to handle psychological well being points not simply in the US, however throughout the globe. Hadassah Basis members are psychological well being professionals working in underserved communities in Cameroon in addition to with internally displaced individuals. We’re proud to welcome them as members of the ADAA group.
It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Ayuk Etongo, the Govt Director of the Basis, who will share particulars in regards to the work and mission of the group.
Hadassah Basis Cameroon: The Journey
Hadassah Basis is an NGO in Cameroon (registration quantity 109/G.37/C84/VOL1/SASC), created in response to the traumatic circumstances affecting internally displaced individuals and the host inhabitants, because of the ongoing disaster within the West African nation. Our goal is to boost wellbeing, empower individuals, and construct resilience. We work to advertise psychological well being, supply counselling and psychosocial assist for internally displaced individuals and host populations, in addition to gender-based violence survivors.
The journey of the NGO started once I moved from Finland again house to Cameroon in 2017. In Finland, I had labored with the Finnish Pink Cross as a counselor for refugees, specifically in the course of the European “Refugee Disaster” of 2015. Once I returned to Cameroon on the finish of 2017, the present conflicts and crises in my nation had been shortly unfolding.
As a local of the southwest area, I noticed many kids, whose mother and father had been killed within the crossfire, change into homeless. These internally displaced kids had been despatched to orphanages across the Buea township space the place I lived. Once I visited the Hotpec orphanage in early 2018, I used to be drawn by the necessity to improve the psychological wellbeing of those kids. With a buddy, I contacted different orphanages, and we started to go to them, providing counselling periods to the kids. We additionally created life-skills trainings, help for coping in occasions of disaster, and resilience-building schooling to strengthen their psychological wellbeing.
Seeing the optimistic influence on these internally displaced youth, I mirrored on what Mom Theresa as soon as mentioned: “If you wish to change the world, go house and love your loved ones.” This was how Hadassah Basis’s work began in Cameroon.
Our Work and Attain
With an enormous variety of internally displaced individuals within the English-speaking areas of Cameroon (northwest and southwest), we proceed to succeed in extra kids, youth, and adults. We additionally work with the host populations who’re affected by the violence. We collaborate with faculties, the place we offer periods on anger administration, bullying, battle decision, substance abuse, and different points.
Peer assist is a vital a part of our work, and we provide periods for single moms to assist their psychological well being wants. As well as, now we have one-on-one counselling for gender-based violence survivors, individuals experiencing PTSD, nervousness, melancholy, and different co-occurring psychological well being situations.
#Breakingthestigma with Psychological Well being Consciousness
Due to armed battle, many individuals in Cameroon have seen their family members killed in entrance of them, leading to grief, trauma, and helplessness. Gender-based violence is much too prevalent and has an enormous psychological influence. At Hadassah Basis, we prioritize psychological well being promotion and consciousness. There’s lots of stigma and misconceptions round psychological well being points, with individuals in small cities or rural areas not getting details and knowledge. Some nonetheless attribute psychological well being points to witchcraft or spiritually associated beliefs.
We’re grateful that the World Well being Group is selling psychological well being within the nation, however Cameroon’s authorities solely amended the psychological healthcare coverage in 2016. And principally city dwellers in the principle cities like Yaounde and Douala have entry to psychological well being / psychiatric care and perceive that psychological well being is as necessary as bodily well being. This inequity is why we’re set on elevating consciousness in additional distant areas. We now have contacted group organizations, church buildings, faculties, orphanages, and incapacity facilities and plan to begin internet hosting consciousness periods this fall to succeed in extra individuals in rural areas.
Partnering with ADAA
This partnership is extraordinarily useful in offering us with sources to develop our work in elevating psychological well being consciousness. Assets associated to PTSD, nervousness, melancholy, substance and consuming problems, and therapeutic interventions for gender-based violence, in addition to having ADAA member clinicians converse with our workforce, will all construct our capability to raised supply providers to our purchasers.
We proceed to do what we are able to with a employees made up principally of devoted volunteers. Nevertheless, reaching a wider viewers requires extra sources: transportation, projectors for periods and workshops, printing flyers, and distributing pamphlets, to call a couple of. We’re extremely grateful for a way far now we have come and the way a lot now we have completed, however we notice that to succeed in and assist extra individuals, we’d like help. Help that can go a great distance as we stay dedicated to enhancing the psychological, emotional, and psychological wellbeing of individuals in our communities. With ADAA, we hope to realize that assist and achieve a really particular connection.