“Stop stigma against persons with mental health conditions”

Bahass Foundation, a mental health NGO in Wa in the Upper West Region, on Wednesday cared for the hygiene of 22 persons living with mental condition as part of activities to mark this year’s Mental Health Day.

The were taken off the streets of Wa in the Wa Municipality as well as Nadowli in the Nadowli -Kaleo District, and were given warm bath, and provided with clean clothes, sandals and hot meals for the day.

They were also made to attend an event which was held by the organisation to mark the day at Nadowli as the region joined the rest of the world to mark the World Mental Health Day.

Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer of the Bahass Foundation, Mr Yussif Baba Illiasu, appealed to the society to halt the stigma against persons with mental health conditions and embrace them with love to aid their recovery.

He argued that if they were shown love at home and not rejected by their families, many of them would return home after roaming the streets the whole day.

“I have a small office in town and they know what I do for them so many of them come to the office on daily basis and this is because of the help I render them, and I believe if their families are that welcoming, many of them would return home after roaming the day”, he said.

He indicated that having mental health issues did not make them less human as anyone could develop the condition at any time given the circumstances in which they found themselves.

“Would you want to be treated the way you are treating this mentally challenged person now if the tables turn? I do not really understand why people with parents would be left to roam, feed from people’s garbage and drink from the gutters when they could be taken home and provided for,” he lamented.

The CEO, who has been taking care of mentally challenged persons for nearly two decades, was seeking to build a structure to help accommodate them so that they are well catered for, and appealed for support in that regard.

He used the opportunity to call on the youth to desist from abusing illicit drugs as it was one of the popular risk factors for mental health conditions.

For his part, the Regent of Nadowli, Naa Kundilor Charinuma, appealed to families of mentally challenged persons to desist from dismissing them from their homes.


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