A week-long of activities to commemorate this year’s World Mental Health Week has been launched in Tamale to draw stakeholders’ attention to the need to intensify sensitisation on mental health.
It is on the theme: “Make Mental Health and Wellbeing for all a Global Priority,” being spearheaded by the Public Health and Psychiatric Units of the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH).
Total Life Enhancement Centre TOLEC-GH, and the Mental Health Advocacy Foundation, both non-governmental organisations advocating mental health services, are also partners.
Activities lined up include media interactions, advocacy campaigns at schools and religious settings, and mental health literacy challenge quiz.
The Day is observed on October 10, every year, to provide opportunities for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to examine their work, and what needs to be done to make mental health care accessible to all.
Dr William Frank Hill Koomson, the Head of Psychiatry, TTH, said: “Although the World Mental Health Day is celebrated in just a day, the Public Health and Psychiatric Units of the hospital decided to extend it to cover a week to heighten awareness on mental health across the region.”
He said the launch was also to ensure that all stakeholders were involved in the awareness creation on mental health to address misconceptions on the issue.
He called on the Government to increase budgetary allocation on mental health as the current allocation of 1.4 per cent was insufficient to address those issues.
Dr Braimah Abubakari Baba, the Acting Northern Regional Director, Ghana Health Service, whose speech was read on his behalf, said mental health remained a global problem, especially in developing countries, hence the need to strengthen partnerships and develop mechanisms to address it.
Mr Peter Amadu Mintir, the Executive Director of TOLEC-GH, called on stakeholders to intensify campaigns to address various misconceptions associated with mental illness.
“Mental illness is not a curse, but a health condition that requires medical attention,” he said, and called on all stakeholders, including the government, to ensure persons with the condition were protected.