Journalists empowered to report Mental Health issues

Selected journalists and media practitioners in the Northern Region have been trained in Mental Health Reporting to ensure good, timely and accurate reportage to increase citizens’ knowledge and understanding of the field.

Activities undertaken at the two-day training, which ended in Tamale, included a presentation on the Mental Health Act, Techniques in Mental Health Reporting, and Radio and Television Programming on Mental Health Issues.

It was organised by Gub-Katimali Society (GKS), a Tamale-based non-governmental organisation, as part of its five-year project being implemented in partnership with BasicNeeds – Ghana, with funding from the Department For International Development (DFID).

The project aims to support the Government to build a national Mental Health System, which responds to the mental health needs of the populace.

Sheik Yakubu Abdul-Kareem, the Programme Coordinator of GKS, said accurate media reportage on mental health issues would also ensure the inclusion of mental health issues into the development plans of service providers to contribute towards the treatment and prevention of mental disorders, especially in rural communities.

Sheik Abdul-Kareem, therefore, urged journalists to focus on mental health issues in the Region to reduce the treatment gap in the country as well as to encourage people with neuropsychiatric conditions to live and work successfully in their communities.

Mr Inusah Iddrisu, a Public Education and Investigative Officer at the Northern Regional Office of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, who made a presentation on the Mental Health Act, urged journalists to work to protect the rights of mental health patients.

Mr Iddrisu said people continued to violate the rights of mental health patients and urged journalists to, therefore, educate the citizenry on the Mental Health Act to ensure compliance and respect for the rights of mental health patients. GNA

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