Commit more resources to mental health – CSOs to govt

Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu,Health Minister

Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu,Health Minister

Several Civic Society Organisations (CSOs) in the Upper East Region have appealed to government to commit more resources for the mental health care of Ghanaians.

The appeal was made in a joint statement issued by the group yesterday as the world marked this year’s Mental Health Day which was celebrated on Wednesday.

In the statement copied to the Ghanaian Times, the group namely; BasicNeeds-Ghana, Mental Health Society (MEHSoG) and the Ghana Mental Health Coalition (GHAMEC) urged the Ministry of Health, and its relevant agencies to develop specialist services that would address mental health issues of patients especially the youth.

The group further advocated psycho-social support and counselling services in the country’s educational institutions and stressed the need for collaborative efforts to de-stigmatise mental health issues.

It appealed to government to ensure and encourage the youth or anyone who needs mental health care to access it freely.

According to the CSOs, the youth make up a significant proportion of the population of Ghana and would be the future leaders of the country; therefore their wellbeing should be of paramount concern to all.

The statement indicated that to complement government’s effort in tackling the phenomenon, BasicNeeds-Ghana with the support from the UK Aid and other partners have implemented a number of community youth and school-based mental health initiatives to increase awareness and promote peer-support.

It has also provided medical treatment, including counselling services to some youth groups.

It noted that over 7000 young people from 95 schools in 19 selected districts in the country have been reached by the projects and added that the Ghana Alliance for Mental Health and Development would continue to sensitise the public on mental health issues.

“With support of STAR-Ghana and UNDP, BasicNeeds-Ghana and its implementation partners we would continue to bring to the fore the need for inclusive policies and programmes that address mental health needs of the poor and  the vulnerable, especially young people and women”, it stressed.

FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, BOLGATANGA

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