Kissy Mental Home

 Kissy Mental Hospital. Many of the patients are soldiers or ex-rebels, mainly admitted for psychoses due to severe drugs abuse. Others are affected psychologically by Sierra Leone's civil war (1991-2001). The building is old (built in 1827) and battered by war and lack of maintenance. Patients are often chained to their beds (if they have one) or to the floor, where they sit in their own excrement. Therapies are obsolete. A patient screams. He died four days later, he did not want to eat or drinks.Sierra Leone, Freetown. November 2003. Photo by Pep Bonet

Kissy Mental Hospital. Many of the patients are soldiers or ex-rebels, mainly admitted for psychoses due to severe drugs abuse. Others are affected psychologically by Sierra Leone's civil war (1991-2001). The building is old (built in 1827) and battered by war and lack of maintenance. Patients are often chained to their beds (if they have one) or to the floor, where they sit in their own excrement. Therapies are obsolete. A patient screams. He died four days later, he did not want to eat or drinks.Sierra Leone, Freetown. November 2003. Photo by Pep Bonet

The civil war in Sierra Leone (1991-2001) was labeled “the cruelest in Africa’s recent history”. It was characterized by destruction – of property, but more so of human lives and values. Tens of thousands of civilians died, hundreds of thousands were raped, burnt, tortured, enslaved, mutilated. Many patients in Kissy Mental Hospital are psychotic because of severe drugs and alcohol abuse, others are traumatized by having participated as a fighter in the war There is a lack of staff, especially of trained staff. The hospital was rebuilt in 2006 and now patients have better beds and windows.

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