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Establishment of Mental Health Board advocated


Establishment of Mental Health Board advocated

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The Chief Psychiatrist of the Mental Health Authority, Dr Kwesi Osei, has demanded the establishment of a Mental Health Board to ensure the implementation of the new Mental Health Law passed by Parliament last year.

He explained that under the new Mental Health Law, the current mental health practice in the country was illegal and anybody could take legal action against mental health workers.

Dr Osei was speaking at the national launching of this year’s World Mental Health Day at Koforidua on Thursday. The ceremony was also used to formally launch the "Restoring Dignity Project” which advocates for the re-integration of cured mental patients into the society. This year’s Mental Health Day is being observed under the theme, “Mental health and older adults”.

Dr Osei said last year, the three mental hospitals in the country handled 99,994 patients, while community mental health nurses attended to 260,000 patients.

The Minister of Health, Ms Sherry Ayittey called for community sensitisation campaigns to create public awareness on the fact that mental disorders were preventable and treatable, so as to encourage families to take better care of their relations with mental challenges.

She said the names of members to serve on the proposed Mental Health Board had been submitted to the Presidency and expressed the hope that the Board would be inaugurated before the end of the year.

She said under the new mental health law, mental health would be integrated into the health care system with the attachment of psychiatric nurses to all clinics to provide services in the communities, adding that psychiatric units would be created in all regional hospitals to treat acute cases. The Health Minister announced that the Kintampo hospital would be upgraded into a teaching hospital for the training of mental health personnel. She further indicated that government was considering an increase in the feeding grants for patients in the country's psychiatric hospitals.

Ms Sally Taylor of the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID), said the British Government would be providing over GHc20 million to support mental health care in Ghana.

Earlier in a welcoming address, the Eastern Regional Minister, Ms Helen Ntoso called for the appointment of a permanent psychiatry medical officer to the Eastern Regional Hospital in Koforidua, as well as the posting of more psychiatric nurses to the Region. Daasebre Oti Boateng, Omanhene of New Juaben Traditional Area called for the inclusion of traditional and cultural methods in the management of mental disorders.

Source: GNA



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