By Fatoumatta Ceesay
Torino City Italy
Many of the boys who reach Italy by sea are facing a lot of mental health issues. Since 2017 the Gambian association Torino received almost five cases of youths who are been chase away from reception centers due to health issues.
Those who are lucky, are able to go back to the Gambia to get traditional treatment. While those, who are not lucky are on the streets. E.Manneh, was very sick when he reached Italy. During his few years, the reception center helps him get medication. These medications include injections when he gets wild. Sometimes he recovered in the hospital. E. Manneh refers to these moments very hard because the drugs make him sleep a lot and sometimes his whole body is weak. In a good way, he says because of his health issues the Italian government gave him a permit of stay call humanitaian permit. This way when he got better, with the help of his family members, he will be able to fly back to the Gambia to get traditional treatment. Now that he is fine. He is working in Italy and able to help his family back in The Gambia.
In the case of Sherif is different. Its been almost a year now since he has been diagnosed with mental health sickness. He is not in a reception center, because when one is granted a permit of stay after few months you have to leave the center to give chance to others. Sherif was hosted by a friend, where later he has to leave that place because neighbors complain of his nuisance. He now sleeps in the mosque.
The association can not help him because, they have very limited resources to help him and his family members are not able to come to his aid. Once a center help people bought him a ticket but on that very day he has to leave for the Gambia he escaped. People like him need a stable place to live till all necessary documents are ready which can take about a month or so.
Recently, the association is facing with the problem of Bah. Who has been sick since 2017. Just a few days ago he got in contact with the association. Bah, narrates that since he arrived in Italy he has been sick. He has been chased away from the reception center, on several occasions , due to his unstable mental status he destroys his valuable things like cars and glass windows.
Bah has been taken to the hospital several times where they gave him injections to calm him down. He complains of pain and weakness in his whole body. Bah has to run to a faraway city in others not to take this injection. He calls on his fellow Gambians to help him reach the Gambia to get medication.
These days the association with the caraters are doing all necessary arrangeents to help Bah reach his family in The Gambia. The only means the association can get money to send people like Bah home is by constandly asking for donation. Which now has became difficult due lack of jobs that people are facing.
The association of Gambian in Torino urges all Gambians residing in Italy or the Gambia to help, to tell their family members to register with the association so that when they need help its will be easy for both the association and for the person in need.
Mental Sickness Affects Gambian Youths in Italy
By Fatoumatta Ceesay