Every nation needs its labour force to be healthy enough to produce goods and offer services necessary for its development.
It, therefore, becomes much of a worry when certain health conditions become endemic and undermine targeted Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Unfortunately, it has emerged that Ghana loses seven per cent of its GDP annually to mental health disorders, translating into about $5 billion for last year alone.
Meanwhile, the records have it that the country’s GDP for last year (2020)
was US$68.42 billion, which means last year’s mental health case was 0.31 percent above the average percent.
Even what we see as paltry 0.31 percent translates into US212 million, which is enough to transform the special education sector , for example, in many dimensions.
This should engage the attention of all the stakeholders and prompt them to take urgent action to stem the tide in the mental health space.
The urgent action is necessary because this is just one aspect of the subject of health and related care.
Such action should include education to make the populace know that mental disorders are not limited to what the majority regard as insanity or madness and that they encompass others like depression and developmental problems like autism.
The education should go further to inform the public that some of the mental disorders like depression can be prevented and the preventive strategies provided.
They should also know how mental health disorders undermine national development and so the need to
That way the country’s spending on mental health can be reduced otherwise the situation can escalate to the point where the government can no longer bear it and the consequences would be anyone’s guess.
For instance, people with mental health hardly have the stability to contribute to national development, which means they take from society without giving back anything.
Also, those with serious mental health disorders are a serious threat to the safety of others.
As Ghana joins the rest of the world to celebrate World Mental Health Day, the whole country should ponder over the global theme‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’ and the local one ‘The State of Mental Health in Ghana: Realigning Resource allocation’.
Truly the world has not become unequal for only mental health patients but also for others who can suffer mental health disorders due to lack of opportunities to derive even little comfort from life.
And on that note the Ghanaian Times wishes to appeal that since mental health disorders constitute a peculiar hurdle in the way of development in the country, resources allocated to it must be judiciously be applied, with the spending officials avoiding misapplication, diversion and misappropriation.