By Sani Gazas Chinade, Maiduguri
No fewer than 10,000 traumatized victims have benefited from the mental health and psychosocial support services of the International Community of Red Cross(ICRC) in Borno state.
Comfort Dauda, The ICRC Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Field Officer, who stated this during the sideline activities to mark the World Mental Health Day in Maiduguri, on Friday, said they were treated in the past eight years.
Dauda said that according to WHO, this year’s theme is Mental Health a Universal Human Right and for us in ICRC in collaboration with the NRCS, our team is Strengthening mental health in armed conflict.
She said that ICRC has been providing mental and psychosocial support for people affected by violence of armed conflict in the state, noting that they are in one of the communities to celebrate World Mental Health Day with some of their service users.
She explained that ICRC has provided basic psychosocial support, psychological first aid, psycho-education, awareness-raising, community-based activities, counseling, group therapy, psychiatric psychological assessments and treatments to the beneficiaries.
According to her, the beneficiaries drawn from Maiduguri Metropolitan Council, Damboa Dikwa and Monguno and Bama were provided with Ten weeks of psycho-social support services.
She noted that those who accessed the services included IDPs, missing persons, hospital patients suffering weapon wounds; frontline healthcare workers; and people in detention were treated in various health facilities.
“We are supporting such patients in Umaru Shehu Hospital, State Psychiatric Hospital and State Specialist Hospital and University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospitals in the state to provide such services to the victims.
“We collaborated with the State Psychiatric Hospital to train some social workers and nurses to support people affected by violence on mental health and psychosocial support services. And we are also in collaboration with the State Ministry of Health and Women Affairs to provide psychological support services to women, girls who were sexual violent victims.
“We are currently working in three communities in the MMC including Ngaranam Bayan Quaters and Libya Bayan Texaco where over 340 people with the same symptoms go to the centers to sit down and interact for ten weeks with our mental health and psychosocial support professionals,”she said.
Batul Bulama, an IDP, said she recovered from trauma after accessing mental health and psychosocial services provided by the organization.
Bulama said that before she was treated in one of the centers, she was depressed and had serious health complications after they were displaced in their community by Boko Haram insurgents.