Vickie Remoe Institute of Digital Communications

Make Sierra Leone Famous podcast brings mental health and drug addiction in focus


In the all-new episode of Make Sierra Leone Famous Podcast: Sierra Leone is Addicted!, our host Vickie Remoe is in conversation with Mahawa Nyandebo (nee Sandy), Founder of Nyali Foundation and Dr. Elizabeth Alieu, resident psychiatrist in charge of Child and Adolescent mental health at Sierra Leone Mental Health Teaching Hospital.

Sierra Leone’s addiction problem

Addiction in Sierra Leone is growing, and the need to talk about its continuous rise was essential in order to educate the public and build their understanding of what exactly addiction is and why it is very difficult for addicts to successfully wean off substances.

Kush is a drug that was extensively discussed as the women tried to break down not only its makeup, but why it was hard for people to resist the urge to take in the drug.

In the conversation, Dr. Elizabeth highlighted that the country’s dark history could also be a contributing factor to the growth of addiction among the youth.

“I normally say we didn’t cater for our children and I think that is what we are facing now. Salone has gone through a series of events through the war which was really brutal, and the ebola where we had orphans and then the mudslide and the day-to-day poverty.” she said.

“We already have the social determinant for mental illness, but people just turn a blind eye and place it under the carpet,” she added.

Mahawa also touched on the link between drug addiction and mental health illness by sharing a bit on her family member who’s recovering from drug addiction.

“We don’t talk about these things. We shy away from them and pretend they don’t exist but they do because it is our reality and it is killing our youth,” she stated.

Make Sierra Leone Famous Podcast is Available on Video and Audio on Youtube, Spotify and Apple Podcasts

This episode touched on a lot of issues, including the effect of drugs on women, stigmatization,  and how dangerous the absence of safe mental health spaces can be. To catch a rewind of the episode, click on this link to stay in tune.

A new episode of the Make Sierra Leone Famous podcast will go out this Thursday at 10:00 AM. It will be available online via YouTube, Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Audiomack,so make sure to not miss it!

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