Govt urged to train more psychiatrists

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Think About Mentally Challenged Person Near You (TAMeCPeNY), an NGO, Mr Evans Appiah-Kubi has called on the government to train more psychiatrists to help address mental health issues in the country.

According to him, there are limited formal avenues for professional interaction and referrals to mental health professionals, thus expressed concern about the development.

Speaking with the Ghanaian Times in Accra on yesterday, Mr Appiah-Kubinoted that theMinister of Health ,KwakuAgyeman-Manustated that a total of 3.1 million Ghanaians, representing 10per cent of the country’s 31 million population had mental disorders.

He indicated that the development was due to the less attention the country gave to “mental illness” and its treatment.

The words “mental illness,” Mr Appiah-Kubi, said were scary to some people, stressing that “there is, unfortunately a type of stigma associated with the term making it impossible for people to seek psychological attention when the need arises.”

He indicated that mental illness was very common and it was estimated that around a fifth of the population had some form of mental disorder such as anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder.

According to Mr Appiah-Kubi, boredom that arose from unemployment and other related issues had made many individuals developed mental illness that needed psychological attention.

“There are numerous causes, such as stress and chemical imbalances, of mental health issues, and a psychiatric evaluation can help identify a problem, its cause, and treatment options,” he added.

Mr Appiah-Kubiregretted that people who had mental health problems often did not seek help.

“Being able to recognise when someone may need help is important, and there are a number of signs that indicate a psychiatric evaluation is a good idea therefore the government has to invest in the area to tackle the issue,” he said.

Mr Appiah-Kubiunderscored the need for the government to make the psychiatric profession attractive for people to enroll, while also educating Ghanaians on the need to seek psychological attention when they have trauma and other psychological problems.

“It is established that some Ghanaians have psychological distress, which is either mild, moderate or severe, and it costs the nation about 7per cent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) loss so we have to act fast as a nation and prioritise mental health just like the international communities,” he added.

BY JOYCELINE NATALLY CUDJOE

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