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World Mental Health Day: Mental Health in an Unequal World(10TH OCT); The Case in Ghana

Though substances abuse and addictions is on the increase amongst the youth who are the future Leaders of this COUNTRY, it seems our leaders who control the national resources .......

The Annual World Mental Health Day is today and the Theme is ” MENTAL HEALTH IN AN UNEQUAL WORLD” , but the focus of my article will be on Ghana my beloved country.

Mental Health in Ghana has been faced with many challenges because the successive governments have been giving less priority to Mental Health activities. Though substances abuse and addictions is on the increase amongst the youth who are the future Leaders of this COUNTRY, it seems our leaders who control the national resources care less about the services of Mental Health Authority and if drastic measures are not taken to empower Mental Health programs, we shall be witnessing great disaster in the near future where we shall have “graduate lunatics” due to substances use.

The World Health Organization theme for this year celebration( Mental Health In An Unequal World) is a good call on all government across the Globe particularly Africa, Ghana to give much attention to Mental Health fundings .

SEE ALSO; mental-health-empowerment-a-call-to-government-bismarck-kpobi

Mental Health is facing unequal priority because we still not as a COUNTRY given good funding to this Intriguing Health Concerns. Mental illness includes; Epilepsy/Seizures ( Neurological Disorders), Substance Use Intoxication or Withdrawal, Substance Addictions, Anxiety and Stress Disorders, Suicide, Sexual Disorders, Depression, Bipolar Disorder,Schzoprenia etc. People who are suffering from any kind of the Mental illnesses are stigmatized upon, neglected , rejected and in most cases denied access to their properties, exclude from family decision makings etc.

Governments give more priority to other prevailing health issues like Malaria, measles etc, NGOs, State and Private Institutions, and appointees of successive governments do sponsor useless and unnecessary entertainment stuffs in this country but they deem it not a necessity to channel their resources to improving Mental Health activities in this country. So it is justifiable when the WHO tagged Mental Health as being in an Unequal World. A world that looks down on Mental Health activities, stigmatize against Mental Health practitioners and their relatives who are suffering from any degree of Mental Illnesses .

The Media spends their programs more on unprofitable entertainment , whilst gives very limited attention to Mental Health Activities if any at all should partly be blamed for the unequal opportunity of Mental Health.

“The Way Forward…”

It is my suggestion that the following should be considered if we want Better Mental Health Services in this country going forward;

° There should be allocations of appreciable percentage of the Health Budget to Mental Health Authority to running the Mental Health activities in the country.

° There should be enough quarterly allocations of Anti- Epileptic, Anti-Psychotic and other mental health drugs to the Authority for onward distribution to all Mental Hospitals and Units. The current drugs allocations not enough to sustain the clients, also not time bound since we don’t have specific dates that drugs should be expected.

° NHIA should be made to include all Mental Health drugs in the NHIS so clients can be assured of getting access to drugs continuously .

° Annual Free NHIS Card Registration and Renewal for all clients. This will encourage adherence to treatment and improvements.

° There should be National Rehabilitation Centres in each Region where skills acquisition training will be given to clients for their income generation. It must be noted that most Mental Health drugs demands food hence lack of family support system makes most clients not able to continue their treatment schedules as prescribed by Mental Health practitioners.

° In Conclusion, Logistics should be provided to the Mental Health Authority so there will be enough tools to working with .

If the aforementioned Concerns are to be followed keenly by our leaders and stakeholders, I am of the utmost hope that the case of Mental Health Activities in GHANA will be different from other African countries and we shall not be included in the UNEQUAL WORLD tag from WHO.

Happy celebration to all Mental Health Practitioners, same to our beloved clients and their relatives.
Mental Health Total Health.

Bismark Kwabla Kpobi
Senior Mental Health Nurse, GHANA
Mental Health Advocate.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication do not in anyway reflect the opinions of State News Ghana

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