Robin Hammond@hammond_robin

Photographer, Co-founder Witness Change, Human Rights Activist, Supports LGBT rights, No Health Without Mental Health, Love animals so I don't eat em!

http://www.onedayinmyworld.com/

Photo @Hammond_Robin / @Noorimages
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Stephen Asante (at back, centre), is a psychiatric nurse who was assisting me in Ghana when I was there documenting mental health issues. Some people have been asking what happened to Odeneho Samson (seated) (you can see other pictures of Samson pegged to the tree on my Instagram page). Well Stephen took it upon himself to help Samson by getting him medication and setting up a support structure within the camp to look after him. In this picture is the happy moment the iron was removed from Samson’s leg. He struggled to walk. Two weeks of not moving had caused his leg to waste. Imagine if he’d been there longer (I’ve met many people with mental health conditions who have been chained for years).
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Since working together, Stephen has been creating an organisation to work in churches and prayer camps that perform healing (there are thousands of them in Ghana) to provide education to those who have people with mental health issues in their care, and where possible, directly help with medication. An inspiring young man, but with a really difficult task on his hands. You should find out just how hard by checking out the article on our website (link in bio). And if you don’t already, please follow @onedayinmyworld. We’ll be posting more about prayer camps there in the coming days. #nikoneuropeanambassador


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Photo @Hammond_Robin / @NoorImages
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Nazareth Prayer Camp in Akroso, Ghana is one of thousands of camps where people living with mental health conditions are brought for healing. They often live on the grounds of the camp for months or even years hoping for a cure. Some move freely about the camps, others are chained.
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Of the 2.4 million Ghanaians living with mental health conditions only 3 percent receive care at medical facilities (according to the World Health Organisation). Filling the void are thousands of prayer camps. They operate without mental health professionals and with virtually no government oversight. -
This image is from #inmyworld, a campaign is designed to expose the challenges faced by people living with #mentalhealth issues and give them the chance to be seen, heard and valued. It is a @witness_change project. Witness Change is a nonprofit that aims to improve life for excluded groups by amplifying their stories. To see more or to share your own mental health story please follow @onedayinmyworld
#nikoneuropeanambassador


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Photo @hammond_robin / @noorimages
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The chains are gone in the psychiatric section of Edumfa Heavenly Ministry Spiritual Revival and Healing Centre in Ghana. Criticism from human rights groups shamed them into ripping them out. In their place, for those considered violent or at risk of running away, are cages. Family members often stay with their sick loved one praying with them and sometimes on their behalf for a cure to what many consider a spiritual affliction.
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If you go to the link in my bio you can see much more from the article I shot this for.
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This work comes from my project #inmyworld, a campaign designed to expose the challenges faced by people living with #mentalhealth issues and give them the chance to be seen, heard and valued. In My World is a Witness Change project. @witness_change is a nonprofit that aims to improve life for excluded groups by amplifying their stories. To see more or to share your own mental health story please follow @onedayinmyworld #nikoneuropeanambassador


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@hammond_robin / @noorimages
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"I want my daughter to be well and to go to school," says Mary Kranteng (right) about her 19 year old daughter, Hannah Otoo (left), who is currently receiving prayers at Edumfa Heavenly Ministry Spiritual Revival and Healing Centre in Ghana. They are hoping the prayers will heal Hannah's mental health condition. Steven Asante, a psychiatric nurse traveling with me, adds: "Hannah is really having a form of mental illness which is psychotic disorder. She has not got yet Schizophrenia. She has symptoms - hallucinations and illusions. So right now she is at a prayer camp and we are hoping for the best. But as a psychiatric nurse (if) she doesn’t take any anti psychotic medication her condition will become worse in the near days ahead of us... If she takes the medicine she becomes calm, we can talk to her about her issues."
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Of the 2.4 million Ghanaians living with mental health conditions only 3 percent receive care at medical facilities (according to the World Health Organisation). Filling the void are thousands of prayer camps offering a sanctuary from stigma, and the promise of a cure through prayer. These camps operate without mental health professionals and virtually no government oversight. Patients can be held in chains in the camps without access to medical intervention for years.
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#inmyworld is designed to expose the challenges faced by people living with #mentalhealth issues and give them the chance to be seen, heard and valued. @witness_change is a nonprofit that aims to improve life for excluded groups by amplifying their stories. To see more or to share your own mental health story please follow @onedayinmyworld


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Photo @hammond_robin / @noorimages. -
I’ve lost count of those I’ve met living with mental health issues who are restrained or incarcerated. My focus has been on developing countries, so that’s where I’ve met most of them, but we shouldn’t think that locking up or forcible restraint is restricted to poor places. Mental health is under resourced pretty much everywhere. So while we should definitely try and make things better in (as in this example) Ghana, we should never be self-righteous or assume everything is good where we live.
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This is Odeneho Samson. When I met him he’d been at the Nazareth Prayer Camp for two weeks with this piece of iron binding him to a tree trunk. He came to the camp seeking healing for his mental health issues. Help came in the form of prayers. To stop him running away, or potentially causing problems for other visitors, he was taken to a tree in the middle of the camp and had the iron hammered around his ankle. For the last two weeks he’d been eating, sleeping, defecating on this spot, always with this iron on his leg. -
It’s regularly an issue for me that I turn up to places to document lives in difficulty and find myself not being able to help in a significant way. This time was different. I was travelling with Stephen Asante, a psychiatric nurse. He was assisting me. Stephen took it upon himself to help Odeneho by getting him medication and setting up a support structure within the camp to look after him. -
Since working together Stephen has been creating an organisation to work in churches and prayer camps that perform healing (there are thousands of them in Ghana) to provide education to those who have people with mental health issues in their care, and where possible, directly help with medication. An inspiring young man, but with a really difficult task on his hands. You should find out just how hard by checking out the article on our website (link in bio). And if you don’t already, please follow @onedayinmyworld. We’ll be posting more about prayer camps there in the coming days.


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@hammond_robin for @onedayinmyworld
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‘The Jericho Hour’ where visitors to Edumfa Heavenly Ministry Spiritual Revival and Healing Centre in Ghana walk around the church (currently under construction) seven times praying and singing. This is purportedly the largest, most established prayer camp in the country. Christians from all over Ghana (and other African countries) come to the camp in the hope of receiving, through the power of The Lord, such ‘blessings’ as sickness cured, an end to infertility, a job, a ministerial appointment, travel outside the country and even money. It has become particularly well known for healing people with mental health problems. -
Of the 2.4 million Ghanaians living with mental health conditions only 3 percent receive care at medical facilities (according to the World Health Organisation). Filling the void are thousands of prayer camps offering a sanctuary from stigma, and the promise of a cure through prayer. These camps operate without mental health professionals and virtually no government oversight. Patients can be held in chains without access to medical intervention for years.
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#inmyworld is designed to expose the challenges faced by people living with #mentalhealth issues and give them the chance to be seen, heard and valued. @witness_change is a nonprofit that aims to improve life for excluded groups by amplifying their stories. To see more or to share your own mental health story please follow @onedayinmyworld #nikoneuropeanambassador


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Photo @Hammond_Robin for @whereloveisillegal. I struggle every time I tell ‘B’s’ story, but here I go. I met B in South Africa. He was living in a tiny tin shack in a township. Thin, afraid, alone. He covered his face when I took his picture because he was worried relatives in Kenya would recognise him. He told me his story, about the man he fell in love with on a beach in Mombasa. He said it was love at first sight. It is hard for many of us to imagine the feeling of, all your life, thinking you’re a freak, the only one with feelings for other boys - then finding someone like you, someone with whom this life long secret can be shared in the most intimate way. They decided they would marry (even though same sex marriage is not legal in Kenya). A mob interrupted their ceremony, burnt down their house, stabbed B’s partner in the chest. B fled to South Africa hoping for a new, safe life. It wasn’t to be. Without any support, unable to work, facing discrimination and the real fear of violence, too scared to venture out - he found himself impoverished and struggling to pay his rent. He said he would be evicted if he didn’t find money in the next few days. I was deeply moved by B’s story of love and loss and the situation he now found himself. As I left I shoved a handful of notes into his hand. I thought if I could help him pay his rent for a couple of months it would be enough to help him get on his feet. He cried. And it wasn’t enough. Within three months B was dead. He got sick and just died. No one knows how. One of his friends, who I also photographed in South Africa, called me to tell me the news. He was broken. Through his sobs he said there was nothing to remember B by except his story, and he begged that I tell it so that we would remember B, even if it was only a sad memory. Today is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia (#IDAHOTB). It is the day we remember the thousands like B. God bless you my friend.


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Photo by @hammond_robin. 33 year old Benjamin Larsa has been at Nazareth Prayer Camp for seven years hoping to be cured of his mental illness through prayer. People seeking healing often live on the grounds of the camp for months or even years .
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Of the 2.4 million Ghanaians living with mental health conditions only 3 percent receive care at medical facilities (according to the World Health Organisation). Filling the void are thousands of prayer camps offering a sanctuary from stigma, and the promise of a cure through prayer. These camps operate without mental health professionals and virtually no government oversight. Patients can be held in chains without access to medical intervention for years.
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#inmyworld is designed to expose the challenges faced by people living with #mentalhealth issues and give them the chance to be seen, heard and valued. @witness_change is a nonprofit that aims to improve life for excluded groups by amplifying their stories. Photo by @hammond_robin. To see more or to share your own mental health story please follow @onedayinmyworld


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Photo by @hammond_robin. I met Odeneho Samson at Nazareth Prayer Camp in Ghana. For two weeks he’d been restrained with a leg iron next to a tree. Occasionally he would be prayed over to remove the “spirits” causing his “madness.”
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Thousands of prayer camps exist in Ghana offering a cure through prayer. Sadly many of those at the camps with mental health issues are chained or locked behind bars. While this is clearly a bad situation, it’s not meant to be abusive. Go to the link in my bio and read the article which details the difficult challenges faced by people living with mental health conditions in Ghana and their families. To see more of this work by following @onedayinmyworld


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"I try to remember," says Martin Donkoh, paraphrasing the scripture, "that God can make all things beautiful in his time." Martin sits between his two siblings, 28 year old Samuel and 23 year old Veronica, who have both been diagnosed with schizophrenia. The Donkoh family sought help for Samuel (and later Veronica’s) mental health condition at Nazareth Prayer Camp in Ghana, but their mental health only deteriorated. To stop them running away or causing damage to property, both were often chained. Samuel and Veronica are now in-patients at Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital in Ghana.
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Of the 2.4 million Ghanaians living with mental health conditions only 3 percent receive care at medical facilities (according to the World Health Organisation). Filling the void are thousands of prayer camps offering a sanctuary from stigma, and the promise of a cure through prayer. These camps operate without mental health professionals and virtually no government oversight. Patients can be held in chains without access to medical intervention for years.
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#inmyworld is designed to expose the challenges faced by people living with #mentalhealth issues and give them the chance to be seen, heard and valued. @witness_change is a nonprofit that aims to improve life for excluded groups by amplifying their stories. Photo by @hammond_robin. To see more or to share your own mental health story please follow @onedayinmyworld


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The Nazareth Prayer Camp in Akroso, Ghana is one of thousands of camps where Ghanaians living with mental health conditions come for sanctuary. People seeking healing often live on the grounds of the camp for months or years hoping for a cure. Photo by @hammond_robin. To see more from this project or to share your own mental health story, please follow @onedayinmyworld


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New work from @onedayinmyworld (link in my profile), my long term project exposing challenges faced by people living with mental health issues.
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Of the 2.4 million Ghanaians living with mental health conditions only 3 percent receive care at medical facilities (according to the World Health Organisation). Filling the void are thousands of prayer camps offering a sanctuary from stigma, and the promise of a cure through prayer. These camps operate without mental health professionals and virtually no government oversight. Patients can be held in chains without access to medical intervention for years.
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#inmyworld is designed to expose the challenges faced by people living with #mentalhealth issues and give them the chance to be seen, heard and valued. @witness_change is a nonprofit that aims to improve life for excluded groups by amplifying their stories. Photo by @hammond_robin. To see more or to share your own mental health story please follow @onedayinmyworld


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