A dissemination workshop on the Mental Health Act has been held for members of the security agencies in the Northern Region to ensure professionalism in dealing with mental health patients.
The workshop, organised on Friday by Gub-Katimali Society (GKS), a social advocacy non-governmental organisation in Tamale, was attended by security personnel from the Prisons Service, Police Service, Armed Forces, Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority, and the Fire Service.
Mr Adam Dokurugu, Mental Health Expert, who made a presentation on the Mental Health Act, called on society to avoid discriminating against mental health patients, who, he said, were entitled to do things done by people of sound mind according to the Constitution.
He called on healthcare providers to strive to ensure confidentiality of medical history and treatment of mental health patients as the current situation where such records were not protected infringed on the rights of the patients.
Mr Julius Quarshie, Deputy Superintendent of Prisons (DSP) at the Tamale Prisons, described the workshop as enlightening as it sensitised the security personnel to be mindful of the rights of mental health patients even as they tried to enforce the laws.
DSP Quarshie said some prisoners sometimes exhibited signs of mental illness and, therefore, the knowledge acquired would assist such prisoners to recover.
Mr Sheikh Yakubu Abdul-Kareem, Executive Director of GKS, said the institution, amongst other interventions, had been assisting mental health patients to lead meaningful lives in their communities. GNA