U.S. Counselors Helping Addicts in Uganda

Lighthouse Network Sending Doctor and Counselors to Uganda to Help Abuse Victims Avoid Addiction, Heal Mental Illness Battles
Rampant Abuse in East Africa Leads to Many Behavioral Health Problems; Lighthouse Counselors to Train Ugandan Nationals

Key Facts:

  • Sexual and physical abuse, left untreated, in victims is often a major factor leading to despair and addictions as structured psychological healing is not provided.
  • Human trafficking and prostitution in poor, East African countries is leading to a growing addiction and mental health problem.
  • Lighthouse Network will travel to Uganda to help train mentors and leaders to deal with the problem past traumas and resulting psychological enslavement.

PHILADELPHIA – Doctors and counselors from the Lighthouse Network will travel to Uganda at the end of July to help train local lay counselors that help support, mentor, and advise victims of physical and sexual abuse, as many are at risk to turn to alcohol or drugs to cope with the pain of their pasts.

Despite a strong Christian revival that has occurred in the region, addiction and continued behavioral health issues are an ongoing problem. Lighthouse Network Founder and Executive Director, Karl Benzio, M.D. cites the region’s 20 years of terrorism, constant fear and struggle for survival, and many tragic losses that compounds their past abuse and interferes with the victims receiving proper help and utilizing it well.

“With so many years of turmoil and constant struggles for basic survival, many women and children are seen as objects or currency to meet various needs. The pain of such abuse runs deep and addiction is often an easy escape from the pain these experiences inflict,” said Benzio. “We firmly believe in the healing power of Jesus Christ and we implement this in the American treatment programs we’ve developed. We are excited to travel to Uganda later this month to help heal the local mentors and leaders, then train them about how to use these sound Christian psychological counseling techniques to help others  overcome the pain, guilt, shame, and often addiction problems that can stem from past traumatic loss, neglect, and sexual and physical abuse.”

Dr. Benzio is leading a seven-member Lighthouse Network team on July 30 to Gulu, Uganda, which was ground zero of Joseph Kony’s atrocities on the people of Uganda. Over ten days, they will see problems firsthand, extend compassion, listen to the sad stories of loss and trauma, and facilitate healing and freedom by  teaching local counselors new techniques that harness the power of Jesus Christ through psychological tools to promote help and healing for victims of abusive trauma, neglect, and loss.

To help those that truly struggle with such addictions, or with other mental health issues here in the United States, Lighthouse Network offers the free, 24-hour Lighthouse Network Addiction and Counseling Helpline toll-free at 877-562-2565. Lighthouse Network works to guide struggling people through storms to find peace and find answers for people who have a hard time defining their particular problem or have difficulty finding the right answers from other often-confusing sources. Lighthouse Network finds life-changing treatment that altogether addresses spirit, mind and body, concerning addiction or psychiatric issues. Many have expressed relief to finally find Lighthouse Network so that help and healing may begin.

Lighthouse Network recently unveiled its new web site at www.LighthouseNetwork.org, where those struggling can find help for their addiction problems, or family members can find help for a loved one. The new website has more online help for those struggling with alcohol, addictions, and other mental health or life management issues for those who want to improve and grow in their personal development.

Through the new site, Lighthouse Network offers several resources for those struggling with addiction, as well as for their families, including Stepping Stones, a free daily devotional for managing life’s stressors and storms and equipping readers with healthy decision-making skills. Visit http://lighthousenetwork.org/stepping-stones/ to read the devotionals and sign up to receive them daily via email.

For more information on Lighthouse Network, visit www.LighthouseNetwork.org or call the Lighthouse Network Addiction and Counseling Helpline toll-free at 877-562-2565.

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To schedule interviews with Dr. Karl Benzio at Lighthouse Network, contact Karyn Price at [email protected], 215-858-1184 (cell), 610-584-1096, or Deborah Hamilton at [email protected]com, 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096.

Lighthouse Network is a Christian-based, non-profit organization that offers a mental health and addiction referral program and helpline that strives to equip people and organizations with the skills necessary to shine God’s glory to the world, stand strong on a solid foundation in the storms of their own lives, and provide guidance and safety to others experiencing stormy times, thus impacting their lives, their families and the world.

Dr. Karl Benzio, M.D. is the founder and executive director of Lighthouse Network. With a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering, Benzio went on to medical school and then specialized in psychiatry. His experiences include teaching pastors, ministry leaders and students counseling and conflict resolution skills in Uganda and Kenya; leading a behavioral health team into post-Hussein Iraq to equip health care specialists with treatment and assessment skills; and successfully testifying for Pennsylvania House of Representatives opposing legislation for Plan B contraception administration and for President George Bush’s Council on Bioethics regarding Right of Conscience. His specialties include adolescents, addictions, decision-making, infusing spirituality into practical treatment modalities, and the ramifications of decision-making on social policy.

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