‘Expedite action on Mental Health Act LI’

Dr Akwasi Osei

Dr Akwasi Osei

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Mental Health Authority, Dr Akwasi Osei has appealed to Parliament to expedite action on the passage of a Legislative Instrument (LI) for the Mental Health Act.

He said though the Mental Health Bill was passed into law in 2012 and culminated in the creation of the Mental Health Authority; it lacked the necessary LI to implement the act.

Speaking at the launch of a Mental Health Awareness Campaign in Accra at the weekend, Dr Osei said the passage of the LI would help the authority to implement the Mental Health Levy aimed at raising funds for the sector.

The programme was organised by Besstel Child and Adult Psychiatric Foundation, a non-governmental organisation.

 

In Ghana, it is estimated that about two million people are suffering from mental illness.

Dr Osei who chaired the programme explained that the passage of the LI would also help promote efficient and effective mental healthcare delivery in the country.

The Mental Health Authority CEO cautioned people to desist from stigmatising mental health patients, saying every individual could suffer from the illness.

He also advised individuals who exhibit any sign of mental illness to quickly report to the hospital and families to ensure that their relatives who have problems to take their medication in order not to relapse.

The founder of Besstel Child and Adult Psychiatric Foundation, Ms Stella Nutakor said she decided to establish the Ghana branch of the foundation to help raise awareness and resources for the mental health sector in the country.

According to her, the sector was not being given the necessary attention and funding and there was the need to reverse that, stressing that “mental illness is like any disease which can be treated.”

She said the objective of the organisation was to establish a partnership between the East London Mental Health Service Foundation Trust and Ghana for the former to provide financial assistance to the Mental Health sector.

Under the partnership, Ms Nutakor said mental health experts and practitioners from East London would share their knowledge and expertise with their Ghanaian counterparts.

In addition, under the partnership, the Founder of Besstel Foundation said her outfit would work for the East London Mental Health service Foundation Trust to adopt a mental health hospital in Ghana and provide it with financial and technical and logistical support.

By Kingsley Asare

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