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Project April 14, 2014

Liberia: Building a Mental Health Infrastructure


Image by Jim Burress. Liberia, 2014.

Liberia's civil war ended in 2003; however, the scars of the decades-long conflict remain. More than half of all Liberian women and girls were sexually assaulted during the war. Countless others watched as their loved ones were slaughtered. Yet, for the approximately 300,000 Liberians battling a mental health condition, only about 100 mental health practitioners are available. And that's after years of focused attention on the issue.

Stigma abounds, and an understanding of contemporary mental health treatment eludes. But the country's government, in partnership with the Atlanta-based NGO, The Carter Center, is working to broaden available mental health resources.

This reporting project chronicles rebuilding efforts in war-torn Liberia through the lens of building a mental health infrastructure, ground-up. It also looks at social justice issues such as access to information and access to justice. Told in a multimedia format, but with a focus on long-form radio in a documentary style, this project gives a voice and a face to the issue of mental health stigma post-civil war.


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