NGO appeals to government to prioritise mental health service

Mr Godlove Ahenu, Chief Executive Officer of Global Media Foundation, a human rights and anti-corruption media Non-Governmental Organisation has appealed to the government to prioritise mental health services to give meaning to the Mental Health Act (846).

“Mental health care is often one of the lowest health priorities for low income countries and Ghana is no exception”, Mr Ahenu told the Ghna News Agency in an interview in Sunyani on Tuesday.

He said an estimated 3.2 million of Ghana’s population is likely to experience mental and other related disorders.

According to Mr Ahenu, a research conducted in 2001 by the World Health Organisation estimated that up to 13 per cent of the world’s population would experience mental ill health by 2020 and Ghana is without exception.

He observed that though the health status of Ghanaians had improved, the status of mental health is however not encouraging.

Mr Ahenu noted that facilities at psychiatric centers were very poor, while allocation for mental health in national budget continued declining.

He expressed concern that stigmatization and discrimination of mental illness continued to remain a national challenge and called for radical approach to address the challenge.

Mr Ahenu said lack of public education on mental health was also a great challenge adding, that was why the NGO had launched a project to undertake massive educational campaign on mental illness in selected communities in the Brong-Ahafo Region. GNA

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