Dr Peggy Asiedu Ekremet, Specialist Psychiatrist at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, says issues of mental health issues can affect anyone regardless of societal status.
She described the mental health situation globally as worrying, adding ‘one out of every eight people worldwide has a mental condition, when it comes to the youth it is one out of seven and when it comes to children, it is one among five’.
Dr Asiedu was speaking at a seminar as part of the World Mental Health Day 2023 commemoration in Accra, on the global theme: ‘Mental health is a universal human right’.
World Mental Health Day is celebrated on October 10 every year to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilise efforts in support of mental health care.
The seminar, organised by the Centre, was aimed at improving knowledge, raising awareness about mental health issues, and driving actions that seek to protect mental health as a human right.
Participants at the seminar included students from Senior High Schools, Faith Based Organisations, Dress Makers, Persons with Disabilities and Traditional Leaders.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 2.3 million people are living with mental health conditions and remain a challenge with a 98 per cent treatment gap.
She said though most of the conditions affecting the people could be treated, the huge treatment gap was challenging.
She called on the government to provide enough human and financial resources as well as enough medication so patients could be cared for.
Mr. Michael Kwaku Yeboah, Component Manager, Ghanaian-European Centre, expressed the Organisation’s commitment to supporting and ensuring the total well-being of persons in the country.
He said more people continued to be affected by mental health issues and that it was important for stakeholders in the mental health space to deliberate on ways to improve access to mental health care systems and facilities, without discrimination and human rights violations.
Mr Yeboah said to complement the government’s effort in addressing the gaps as well as improving mental health and well-being, the Centre had provided mental health support for its clients for the past three years.
This include counselling, psychotherapy sessions, temporary accommodation, and healthcare for returned migrants with mental conditions.
They also ensured their successful reintegration.
He said: ‘A key component of the services we provide is mental health services and have provided such services for well over 3,500 people over the years. You will realise that mental health is not at the forefront of discussion in Ghana, hence the effort to create awareness.’
He said: ‘Over 90 per cent of people, who actually have conditions are not treated and as a nation, we should be able to recognise the signs in people, so if you know somebody whose behaviour has changed or whose emotions has changed, that person needs to be helped to seek early treatment.’
Nana Appeaa Sarpomaa Kumankuma I, Queen Mother of Akyem-Dwenase, said: ‘I am very privileged to be part of this programme and I believe that we all deserve it, we all have mental health issues, especially with the current economic hardship in addition to stress and depression,’ she said.
Source: Ghana News Agency