CONDEMNED – Mental Health in African Countries in Crisis

Where there is war, famine, displacement, it is the most vulnerable that suffer the greatest.

Abandoned by governments, forgotten by the aid community, neglected and abused by entire societies. Africans with mental illness in regions in crisis are resigned to the dark corners of churches, chained to rusted hospital beds, locked away to live behind the bars of filthy prisons.

Some have suffered trauma leading to illness. Others were born with mental disability. In countries where infrastructure has collapsed and mental health professionals have fled, treatment is often the same – a life in chains.

I started documenting the lives of the mentally ill in African countries in crisis in an attempt to raise awareness of their plight. I travelled to war ravaged areas of Congo, South Sudan, Mogadishu and Uganda. I spent time with the displaced in refugee camps in Somalia and Dadaab. In Nigeria I went to see the impacts of corruption on facilities for the mentally ill.

After 12 years of documenting human rights issues I’ve never come across a greater assault on human dignity. These people are unseen and therefore their suffering ignored. This project is being produced in the hope that no longer will ignorance be able to be used as an excuse for inaction.

Category: Features, Mental Health

What Others Are Saying

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  5. coutou October 17, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Your photos are amazing. I am personally working (inter alia) in this field (more particularly in detention). Your pics reflect very well the assault on the very dignity of mentall ill people in Africa. Hope your work will contribute to raise attention on this plight.

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  11. Saul Krubally counseling Psychologies November 13, 2013 at 2:47 am

    Currently, I am working on a foundation to bring a change to mental health issues in the Gambia and the entire continent of Africa. Africans have to take a stan to make a change to mental illness for our people. I would like to work with any person who is willing to stan against mental illness in Africa.

    • Charity Mvere December 12, 2013 at 10:02 am

      Indeed there is a great gap in mental health issues World wide and more so in Africa due to poor resourcing. My organisation Christian Counselling and Depression Trust is a local NGO promoting awareness on mental health issues in Zimbabwe. Would like to work with you.

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  15. Florence February 13, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Gut wrenching! Charity and Saul, I would like to explore the possibility of working with you both. I am looking at what can be done in Northern Uganda where the effects of decades of war are being manifested in many many ways including a significant increase in mental health related issues.

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  17. sahil khan February 18, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Your pics are truly amazing as it shows actual mental health in african countries.

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