A stakeholders’ meeting on the Mental Health Policy has been held to help prioritise mental health education in the country.
The meeting was also to educate stakeholders, who included representatives from the Ghana Health Service, Ghana Education Service amongst others drawn from the five regions in the north, to use their platforms to champion mental health education.
It was organised in Tamale by the Mental Health Authority as part of the Ghana “Somubi Dwumadie” programme, which is funded by UKAid to amongst others improve the situation for persons with disabilities in the country.
The Mental Health Policy seeks to provide a framework for supporting the achievement of good mental health in the country while being sensitive to culture, resources, geography amongst others towards ensuring a mentally healthy population.
It also seeks to promote mental health, prevention, and management of mental health conditions for all persons across the lifespan, both in the public and private sectors, thus, substance use disorders including alcohol abuse.
Professor Akwasi Osei, Chief Executive Officer of Mental Health Authority, who spoke during the meeting, emphasised the need for stakeholders at all levels to champion the Mental Health Policy to reduce the menace of mental health in the country.
Professor Osei said the limited number of psychiatric professionals in the country called for an all-inclusive campaign to guarantee the mental health needs of the people.
He said, “The desire to drastically improve on mental health issues can no longer be left in the hands of mental health givers.
It calls for a collaborative framework amongst institutions in ensuring mental health becomes the collective responsibility of society.”
Mr Issaka Anas Abdulai, Upper East Regional Coordinator for School Health Education, commended the Mental Health Authority for organising the meeting, saying, it allowed stakeholders to intensify mental health education to minimise the incidence of mental health challenges, especially among the youth.
Some of the participants called for a broader sensitisation on the policy at local levels to garner the support of all for its effective implementation.
They appealed to the government to ensure adequate logistics, training of mental health professionals and the provision of facilities to facilitate effective health delivery in the country.