An author and publisher in Accra, has donated GH¢30,000 in support of treatment of 30 mental health patients and management of mental health conditions in the Ledzokuku- Krowor Municipality (LEKMA).
Nana Ama Buckman made the donation through BasicNeeds Ghana, a mental health and development advocacy organisation, which was already providing support for mental health patients undergoing treatment at the LEKMA General Hospital.
The donation also enabled the training of 80 nurses on common mental health disorders, identification and referrals.
In an interview with the Ghanaian Times yesterday, Ms Buckman said, the donation was proceeds from the sale of her recent book, adding that it was to support efforts to alleviate the challenges faced by mental health patients.
“Mental healthcare is underfunded in the country, and so we see that patients face all kinds of problems and some others struggling. This donation is my support toward addressing some of the challenges,” she stated.
She said mental health was a condition which should be of concern to everyone, and appealed to the public to provide the necessary support to improve mental healthcare delivery in the country.
“I know about people who have committed suicide and those who missed out a good life because of mental health. We must all get involved in raising awareness and improving how it is addressed,” Ms Buckman added.
Executive Director of BasicNeeds Ghana, Peter Bedimark Yaro, said, mental health should be everyone’s business because it cut across every aspect of life.
An efficient and effective mental healthcare delivery system would require the collaboration of health workers, community members, media and donors to remove impediments that exposed patients to challenges, he said.
By virtue of the donation, he said mental health patients at the hospital would receive free medication for a year, whilst frontline health workers, including general health nurses would be trained to strengthen their knowledge and skills to be able to provide needed care for mental health patients.
Going forward, BasicNeeds Ghana, Mr Yaro said, would advocate inclusion of mental health and social protection schemes in the general healthcare system, particularly at the community level, to ensure that patients have access to adequate mental healthcare services and support nationwide.
Municipal Public Health Nurse, Dorcas Dadzie expressed gratitude for the donation and support, and appealed to the public to continuously work with health institutions to combat stigma associated with mental health.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS