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Former U.S. First Lady Rosalynn Carter Congratulates Liberia's Minister of Health and Social Welfare for Improving Country's Mental Health Care Systems and Services

Contact: In Atlanta, Rennie Sloan,, 404-420-5129
In Monrovia, Liberia, Janice Cooper,

ATLANTA...During the Carter Center's fourth annual Mental Health Liberia Program Review held this week in Atlanta, Georgia, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter congratulated former Liberia Minister of Health and Social Welfare Dr. Walter Gwenigale for his many contributions that have helped to increase access to care and services for those living with mental illnesses in Liberia.

The Carter Center's Liberia Mental Health Program, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, has trained 144 mental health clinicians to work largely in primary care clinics and hospitals across all 15 counties. These clinicians have been instrumental in helping to meet the mental health and psychosocial needs of people in the country after more than a decade of civil conflict and the Ebola crisis, which intensified the need for mental health interventions.

"The Carter Center is grateful for this collaboration with the Ministry of Health and for the progress we have seen to improve mental health care systems and strengthen services in Liberia," said Dr. Janice Cooper, a native Liberian and project lead for the Carter Center's mental health initiative in Liberia. "Dr. Gwenigale is a champion of mental health who has worked tirelessly to rebuild the health system and prioritize care for people living with mental illnesses. We look forward to continuing this relationship with Dr. Bernice Dahn, the new minister of health who also has been a mental health advocate while serving as chief medical officer and deputy minister under Dr. Gwenigale."

Over the next three years, the Center's work in Liberia will include implementing a project in response to the most urgent psychosocial and mental health needs following the Ebola crisis. The project, funded by the Japanese Social Development Fund through a trust fund administered by the World Bank, is expected to reach approximately 18,000 beneficiaries in Montserrado and Margibi counties. Montserrado County includes the capitol city Monrovia. The project interventions will help mitigate the impact of Ebola on communities and facilitate the creation of a new cadre of child mental health clinicians who will work with children in schools and other settings.

A letter written by Mrs. Carter and presented to Dr. Gwenigale is here.


"Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope."
A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.

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