By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA: One of the very few trusts offering mental health services in Samoa, today marks 10 years since it established its services.
Speaking at the celebration of the Goshen Trust Mental Health Service was Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and Goshen patron, Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi.
Ten years ago, Tuilaepa and Tui Atua as Head of State then, launched the Goshen Trust as a place where people with mental disability are housed.
Today when Tuilaepa spoke at the tenth anniversary celebration, he turned to Tui Atua and light heartedly said “long time no see.”
He congratulated Goshen Trust and all other similar organisations offering such services to the people of Samoa.
When Goshen Trust was looking for a space to set up ten years ago, they approached Tuilaepa for assistance, and the compound formerly used by SPDC expats at Moamoa was allocated for the Trust.
Tuilaepa congratulated and encouraged the staff to persevere in their work.
As patron, Tui Atua congratulated Tuilaepa for the assistance and acknowledged his support.
Tui Atua first turned down the request to be the Trust patron as he thought his presence would discourage support. But he later changed his mind in the belief that both he and Tuilaepa would be judged by a higher power.
He said without Tuilaepa and the Government’s support, the Goshen Trust dream would never have materialized.
The Goshen Trust Mental Health Services is governed by a Board which meets every two months, and its main objective is to provide support and care for people with mental health problems and their families.
Its work relies mainly on financial and volunteer support.
Its key activities include residential treatment facilities, community support to families and up-skilling of community members in mental health care.