Photo: Linda Givetash, Global Reporting Centre
 Photo: Joao Silva, New York Times. For more on how this photo was taken click  here .

Photo: Joao Silva, New York Times. For more on how this photo was taken click here.

In October 2015, the New York Times ran a feature on the chaining of mentally ill people in West Africa, where many regard mental illness as a sign of demonic possession. Modern psychiatric care is rarely available. With nowhere to turn, families sometimes entrust their mentally ill family members to ''prayer centers’’ that claim to offer a cure. In these centers, patients are chained to a tree and deprived of food and water for days to get the devil to leave their body.  Some men and women remain chained for many years and often until death. 

Treatment not Chains is a campaign to to support the work of a visionary African activist, Gregory Ahongbonon, who has altered the landscape of mental health in the Ivory Coast and Benin. In the regions where his organization, the St. Camille Association, works, it is rare to see people still in chains. See the work in action.

This campaign is raising funds to extend his work to Togo, where many mental ill people still live in chains.

My goal in life is not necessarily to cure but to treat all people with dignity.
— Gregory Ahongbonon, Founder, St. Camille Association


Gregory and the St. Camille Association are transforming mental health in West Africa.

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Take Action

Help end inhumane chaining of mentally ill people by supporting Treatment Not Chains

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