Sierra Leone’s Vice President, Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh has outlined plans by their government to tackle mental health in Sierra Leone.

The Vice President who is leading a Presidential Taskforce to tackle mental illness, agreed that it is a big challenge for the country.

If you have mental health as a big challenge, it’s going to affect the young population.

It’s also going to affect family members,” Jalloh said.

Although the major link to the illness has been the country’s sour history of a decade civil war, poverty and unemployment, there is a growing concern about the rise of synthetic drug addicts in mostly urban areas of the country.

There are fears that the country’s only mental home could not cope with the rising number of cases.

BBC journalist, Umaru Fofana in an interview with Alan Kasujja said the Kissy Mental Home is rejecting new patients since it has reached full capacity.

Fofana reminisced on the state of the hospital when he visited years ago and said there is much improvement.

Authorities in the West African country are looking for to updating the country’s 1903 Lunacy Act -to include modern and up-to-date mental health legislation.

The government also plans to train more mental workers to add to the few numbers of experts in the country. Sierra Leone currently have only four psychiatrists; two locals and two Nigerians. There are only 20 nurses specialised in the field.

Sierra Leoneans are considered to be among the most resilient people on earth but there are fears that natural disasters, health risks and poverty are testing their resilience with regards to mental health.