Contacts

92 Bowery St., NY 10013

thepascal@mail.com

+1 800 123 456 789

IMPACT

Everyone deserves to live with dignity

ST. CAMILLE ASSOCIATION

Modern Psychiatric Treatment in a Caring Environment

The St. Camille Association was founded by Grégoire Ahongbonon to provide psychiatric care and rehabilitation in Benin, Ivory Coast, and Togo. Where these services have taken root, it is rare to see people still in chains. Many patients arrive at a St. Camille treatment center off the street or from having been chained. Upon arrival they are bathed, fed and given clean clothes. They receive an evaluation from a psychiatric nurse and are started on a course of medication, if warranted. Counselors, art therapists, and social workers are also available. General medical, obstetrical, dental, surgical, and eye care have also been integrated with mental healthcare over the years.

Recovery Through Work

Recovery Through Work

Patients are housed at the centers for as long as necessary to allow them to return to their own homes. This can take weeks, months, or years. Once they are stabilized, patients who are not ready to return home can participate in rehabilitation programs through which they farm, sew, bake, weave, make mats, or do hair. These skills build confidence and enable the patients to be productive upon return to their villages.
Support After Discharge

Support After Discharge

St. Camille successfully reintegrates over 95% of their patients back into their home villages. St. Camille works with local clinics to ensure ongoing access to medications. Nurses in the clinics receive training on psychotropic medications from French or Canadian psychiatrists who visit four times per year. This system prevents relapses that would occur due to the long distances between the treatment centers and patients’ home towns. St. Camille has also created a mobile team with an experienced nurse that travels between the local clinics to support the local nurses, bring medications, and accompany patients who need treatment to the nearest center. A full-time local psychiatrist works in Benin since 2022 as the chief psychiatrist.
Local Access to Medications

Local Access to Medications

In Benin certain generic medications are produced locally and psychotropic medications are ordered from India. The low income patients served by St. Camille are asked to pay approximately $2.50 per month regardless of the type or quantity of medication. Despite the use of low-cost, generic medications and the revenue generated from patient payments, the cost of medications is a significant on-going cost for St. Camille. Treatment Not Chains is the sole group raising funds in the U.S. to cover these costs for St. Camille.
Shift in Attitudes About Mental Illness

Shift in Attitudes About Mental Illness

In the regions where St. Camille works, it is rare to see people still in chains. Families, soldiers, police, and residents all know to bring people with mental illness to St. Camille. In fact, 95% of their new admissions come directly from the community or through the network of dispensaries throughout the country. Slowly the stigma of mental illness is decreasing. Gregory actively uses many forums to demystify mental illness and combat prejudice. He speaks at gatherings of church members, church leaders, and university students. He reaches out to traditional “exorcists” and uses radio and television to educate people about mental illness as a medical condition that is treatable.
TREATMENT AND WORK CENTERS

Providing a supportive environment where every person is treated with dignity and kindness.

Like many inspired and determined leaders, Grégoire has attracted a team of partners and supporters. With funding from the Canadian Friends of St. Camille and several European charities, he has opened treatment centers, rehabilitation centers, and hospitals in Benin, Ivory Coast, and Togo. Grégoire and his team keep meticulous records of the numbers of patients served and reunited with their families and relapses. Most recent comprehensive numbers are available below.

IVORY COAST

BENIN

TOGO

IVORY COAST

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  • Number of new patients admitted to treatment centers in Ivory Coast:
    • 2019: 1,418
    • 2021: 430 
    • 2022: 675 
    • 2023: 340
  • Number of consultations in
    • 2019: 12,096
    • 2021: 16,000
    • 2022: 15,500

BENIN

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  • Treatment and rehabilitation centers are located in Cotonou, Avrankou, Porto-Novo, Bohicon, Djougou, Adjarra, and Agoiti
  • Number of new patients admitted to treatment centers in Benin:
    • 2019: 4,508
    • 2021: 4,649
    • 2022: 4,589
    • 2023: 4,927
  • Number of consultations in
    • 2019: 71,026
    • 2021: 74, 282
    • 2022: 78,462
    • 2023: 88,412

TOGO

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  • Treatment centers are located in Kpalime, Zooti, and Sokode
  • Number of new patients admitted to treatment centers in Togo:
    • 2018: 1,540
    • 2019: 1,949
    • 2022: 1,999
    • 2023: 1,474
  • Number of consultations in
    • 2018: 9,089
    • 2019: 14,377
    • 2022: 24,757
    • 2023: 18,924

PHOTO GALLERY

Support Dignity and Mental Health

Support Dignity and Mental Health

Your donation funds our advocacy efforts to provide mental health treatment to thousands and reduce inhumane practices and stigma about mental illness.

Les Amis de la (Friends of) Saint-Camille is an NGO in Quebec, Canada which has supported the Saint Camille Association since 2001. Treatment Not Chains is a member organization and manages the GlobalGiving donor interface.

Get Involved

Get Involved

Learn more about how you can get involved to make a difference in people’s lives.