Sunday, August 20, 2006


One of the most moving experiences I've had in Nigeria was a trip to Amaudo in Itumbauzo, Abia State nearly two years ago. Amaudo is a community which cares for the mentally ill, focused on rehabilitation and renewal in a Christian context. Amaudo is doing a supreme job at both caring for the uncared for as well as helping to change perceptions of mental illness, in one part of Nigeria at least.

If only there could be Amaudo's throughout the country. Most forms of mental illness can be cured, either through talking or the right pharmaceutical support, or both. The taboos and myths around mental illness in Nigeria, as elsewhere in Africa, need to be challenged and those heroes working in the field in places like Amaudo need all our support (sorry to sound like a vicar for once!). Many mentally ill people in Nigeria face hideous treatment and abuse, when what they need is a community of support..

Amaudo is supported by a UK charity (all details on the website linked above). Its a sobering thought that there are more Nigerian pyschiatrists in London than in the whole of Nigeria.

A British couple who worked at Amaudo until recently were interviewed on the Jeremy Vine show a while ago. Click here for more on this.


Barb,  2:18 pm  

Amaudo is indeed an amazing place and so is Ros Colwill who set the place up. Ros is a Roman Catholic (she actually was a nun originally)..who has got together with the Methodist church (forget about tedious theological debates as to what form of Christianity is the true way) to set up this worthy project. Ros actually LIVES the Christian life and shows that it is much more about DOING good as opposed to JUST praying and sitting back waiting for things to happen. Ros almost died a few years back (last rites had been said) and was told she would never be able to walk or talk again and should definitely not return to Nigeria. She has since then made an wonderful recovery and has of course come back to Nigeria to find a way to help once more. This woman is a role model for us all. I wish her all the best and look forward to sharing a beer again with her soon.
btw Amaudo UK is a charity in England raising money for Amaudo Nigeria

Anonymous,  4:57 pm  

Interesting: The whole idea of 'mental health' didn't mean anything to me until i came to live in the UK a few years back. it was simply 'madness' or crazeman. I knew a catalogue of derogatory terms for pple with various mental health issues. how time and distance has changed my perception. well done to all those caring for all these people. I am challenged by this.

Anonymous,  5:42 pm  

I am a mental health nurse in UK but know how mentally ill are treated in Nigeria. Would like to return after retiring to educate people about the stigma we placed on the mentally ill country people

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