Alliance for Mental Health appeals to govt to constitute governing board for Mental Health Authority

 The Alliance for Mental Health and Development has called on government to, as a matter of urgency, constitute the governing board of the Mental Health Authority.

According to the group, delays in constituting the Board were hampering the effective functioning of the Authority.

Additionally, it said the situation was negatively affecting the successful implementation of the National Mental Health Policy and the momentum gained by mental health advocates in advancing mental health development in the country.

A statement signed and issued in Accra by Peter Badimak Yaro, National Convener, Alliance for Mental Health and Development and Executive Director, Basic Needs-Ghana, said, without a functioning Board, it would be difficult for the Mental Health Authority to mobilise the resources it required to operate effectively.

The statement was on the occasion of this year’s World Mental Health Day.

The occasion, it explained, present an opportunity to government to prioritise and address the numerous challenges confronting Ghana’s mental health sector. 

It said since the previous Board completed its tenure on January 7, a new Board was yet to be constituted and inaugurated in line with Section 4 of the Mental Health Law (Act 846, 2012). 

With coronavirus disease (COVID-19) exposing the weaknesses in the mental health systems of the country, the statement said, it was important for government to invest in the development of Ghana’s mental health system through concrete actions so that the mental health sector of the health system was not left behind.

It said the Authority within the past year gained significant achievements including collaboration with key stakeholders to develop a framework to guide the practice of traditional and faith-based healers and the development of a National Mental Health Policy. 

“The stage is, thus, set for the Mental Health Authority to capitalise on the goodwill mental health advocacy is currently enjoying, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic, to bring real benefit to persons with mental health conditions,” the statement added.

The Board, the Alliance, was confident would facilitate implementation of the Mental Health Policy and enforce the Mental Health Law through concrete actions such as the inauguration of the long-awaited Mental Health Review Tribunal, Mental Health Visiting Committees, and revival of Mental Health Regional Sub-committees. 

BY TIMES REPORTER

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