‘The last man standing’ is running a Foundation named after him that he has dedicated to fighting mental illness. It is known as the Emerson Bockarie Foundation.
Emerson who also prides himself as ‘The Iron way nor dae Ben’ is known for his alacrity to condemn corruption. One of his several lyrics condemning corruption in high places has just been released. The ‘Nine Lives’ has hit hard as anticipated, blasting both the past and current governments of doing little to contain graft. In ‘Coconat Ed’ lyric that took after the name of the album that contains many tracks, he equally chided Sierra Leoneans for blindly following politicians, even as they continue to fail the nation.
Well, this time, it’s not all about music but giving back to the people what he owes them for making him what he is today. He wants to achieve that through a foundation he has founded and named after him.
And guess what, the big bang is that the Emerson Bockarie Foundation has been set up to join the fight against mental illness in Sierra Leone where derangement seems to be widespread, with two in every ten adults suffering from mental illness due to stress and low livelihood, according to records available at the country’s Health Ministry.
Emerson’s decision to dedicate the project to mental illness is a way to raise awareness about mental illness and how to come on board and help in the fight.
In a recent video released on Facebook where he was captured touring the Kissy Mental Hospital (Crase Yard), the only mental hospital in Sierra Leone, he sees lack of opportunities as the greatest cause of depression. Depression, he went on, can lead young people to substance abuse of various narcotics, which normally results in mental illnesses.
“Depression can be caused by unemployment, civil conflict, political instability and poverty,” saying there are still a large number of them living in a society with that condition but are yet to be diagnosed for treatment.
Emerson says he is appalled by the fact that as a country, we only have two people that are trained and qualified to deal with mental illness for a population of seven million people. One of the Psychiatrists shown in the video, Dr Abdul Jalloh appreciates the efforts of Emerson. He says: “I will like to see more Sierra Leoneans doing the same as mental illness is a serious issue affecting most of our young people.”
Emerson says he will use his foundation to seek funding to help solve mental health issues, as it is the least funded in the world. He is calling on Sierra Leoneans, government and development partners and NGOs to support his Foundation to help fight mental health illness before things get out of control.
By Ishmael Daddy-Bangura