Stories of Hope

Hope — essential for recovery

December 17, 2019

‘’My son has been sick for many years now. Since the day he got his first episode of mental illness, our family has been ridiculed by many community members. They think that I committed adultery and that is why God punished me by giving me a child who has mental illness. It hurts so much that I am treated this way’’, Dodo’s father sadly told the YouBelongHOME team during our visit to his family. Dodo’s father had left him in the mental hospital for over a year. He said that he wanted Dodo to be there for the rest of his life.

“I feel relieved when he is in the hospital……..if community members do not see him around then they do not have much to talk about. Let him stay there; at least I am convinced that he is not going to be of any good when he comes back home”.

Dodo’s father had lost hope in him. Certainly, Dodo felt the same way, as he felt useless and looked down on himself.

When Dodo was returned home, his father was still sceptical of whether he would recover. The YouBelongHOME team educated him about the illness and how to support Dodo to recovery. We also encouraged Dodo to continue with his medication following the support sessions aimed at building hope, that the team engaged with him in the hospital.

It is amazing how much Dodo has changed after the YouBelongHOME process. He participates actively in the mosque. His father said that he is the Mu’azzin of their mosque and the Muslim community likes him so much. He participates actively in his community life and this has brought a lot of hope to him and his family.

“No one can tell that I was the “mad” man who walked on the streets naked”, Dodo mumbled with a beaming facing.

Carers struggle to find answers to the questions they have about the mental illness that their loved ones are battling with. The stigma from the community subjects them to a subjective burden and leads to many people experiencing severe mental illness to be abandoned in mental institutions. The YouBelongHOME team educates, guides and encourages, and empowers families through the challenges they face.