GHS report reveals 42% Ghanaians with "psychological disorder"

| Updated Feb 21, 2018 at 4:02pm



Available data from Ghana Health Service revealed that about forty-one percent of Ghanaians have some psychological disorder and thirty-two point four percent of years lived with mental disease while thirteen percent of persons with mental disability adjusted life years.

The Deputy Executive Director of the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG), Dr. James Duah gave the statistics at a days 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.

He said, the workshop is aimed at improving the lives of people with mental illness in Ghana, improve access to health care, reduce stigma and reintegrated treated mentally ill persons into society among others as the objectives.

The training workshop, he said, is also to sensitized stakeholders on how to manage with persons living with mental illness.

He stressed on 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 andit 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 profession and social status.

Dr. Duah noted that, impaired ability to relate to others, inability to cope with normal stress of life, inability to function and poor performance and unnecessarily difficult as early signs of mental illness and delusions, echolalia, suicidal tendencies, extreme quietness, isolation, dressing and getting on the street among others as late signs of mental illness. He 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 larger portion of the global burden of diseases, as it affects all ages putting everyone at risk hence, the role of faith-based, prayer camps leaders, traditional healers and CHAG is to provide reassurance, counselling, faith, belief and connect mentally ill persons to health care facilities nationwide.

He said, the workshop is also organized as part of activities to officially launch the 50th anniversary of CHAG in the Eastern Region.

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 to the live span of patients.

He said, UKaid has joined CHAG to help in facilitating people with mental issues. He urged family members not to neglect mental ill persons to their fate.

The workshop brought together about 150 participants across the country including priests, pastors, clergy, representatives from CHAG, Churches, association of Ghana Health Services, Prayer Camp leaders among other groups.

It is also in commemoration of the CHAG preparation towards the celebration of its Golden Jubilee in Ghana.

The workshop was sponsored by UKaid.