A recent data from the Ghana Health Service has revealed that about 41 percent of Ghanaians have some psychological disorder.
Further, the data said 32.4 percent lived with a mental disease while 13 percent of persons with mental disability-adjusted have life years.
The Deputy Executive Director of the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) gave the statistics at a day’s training workshop on the management of mentally ill persons for faith-based, prayer camp leaders and traditional healers among others in Koforidua, the Eastern Regional capital.
Dr James Duah said the workshop is aimed at improving the lives of people with mental illness in Ghana, improve access to health care, reduce stigma and reintegrate treated mentally ill persons into society among others as the objectives.
The training workshop, he said, is also to sensitize stakeholders on how to manage persons living with mental illness.
He stressed the need to stop chaining mentally ill persons at prayer camps, churches, herbal centres among others, but refer patients to any nearby health facilities across the country.
Dr Duah said, mental illness is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling and mood and it is caused by genetics, environment, lifestyle, traumatic, drugs and alcohol abuse among other practices adding that everyone is at risk of getting mental health illness irrespective of one’s profession and social status.
Dr. Duah noted impaired ability to relate to others, inability to cope with the normal stress of life, inability to function and poor performance, as early signs of mental illness.
Delusions, echolalia, suicidal tendencies, extreme quietness, isolation, dressing and getting on the streets among others, as late signs of mental illness. He, therefore, urged the general public not to traumatize persons with mental illness.
The Director of Catholic Health Services and the Eastern Regional CHAG Coordinator, Victus Kwaku Kpesese said, mental health accounts for a larger portion of the global burden of diseases, as it affects all ages putting everyone at risk.
He said the workshop was also organized as part of activities to officially launch the 50th anniversary of CHAG in the Eastern Region.
Mr Kpesese said UKaid has joined CHAG to help in facilitating people with mental issues. He urged family members not to neglect mentally ill persons to their fate.
The Superior of the St. John of God Brothers of the Koforidua community, Rev. Brother Yohannes Torwoe said, mental illness and stigma should be the concern of all.