Health team at Bryan Acheampong Foundation held durbars and conducted video shows in 8 communities in Kwahu East District to sensitize citizens on mental illness and the rights of persons with mental illness.
This is to sensitize the youth and general population on consumption of harmful drugs such as tramadol and screen for mental disorders, and to impress on elders in communities to make pronouncements supportive of mental health in their respective jurisdictions as well as serve as fora to work towards reducing stigma and discrimination against persons living with mental illness.
The durbars, which began early April and ended in June, were held at Akwasiho, Hweehwee, Pepease, Ankoma, Nkwatia, Nteso, Bokuruwa and Aduamoa all in the Kwahu East District where about 1,241 people comprising chiefs, opinion leaders, and representatives from public and private institutions amongst others participated.
It forms part of the Foundation’s project, which seeks to increase knowledge on mental health services for people with mental illness who seek treatment from spiritual/prayer camps and traditional healers.
It is estimated that 1 out of every 4 persons is likely to develop mental illness in their lifetime.
Ghana Health Service, Kwahu East District who facilitated the durbars enlightened members of the public on mental illness and the rights of mentally-ill people, calling for support for persons with mental illness and an end to tramadol abuse.
Mr. Nyarko Eric, Director for development at BAF also called on families to support persons with mental disorders to ensure that their rights were protected.
He spoke against stigmatization and discrimination against persons with mental disorders, saying the law would deal with people who violated the rights of the mentally-ill people.
The chiefs and people pledged their support for mental health advising all to accept mentally-ill people in society to ensure that they led decent lives.
Mr. Rockson Dutenya, Progran Manager for Health at BAF, said addressing mental health concerns required the collective efforts of all as it is a great burden on families, communities and the country at large.
Mental Health and psychiatric diseases are prevalent among the population of Kwahu East District. There is reported increase in substance abuse, alcohol consumption, use of prescribed drugs and other health comprising behaviors that increase exposure of the population especially the youth to various forms of mental disorders. The district health directorate currently offers limited mental health services due to resource constraints.