BasicNeeds Ghana trains traditional, faith-based healers on mental illness

Basicneeds Ghana

Some traditional and faith-based healers in the Tamale and Zabzugu Assemblies have been trained on how to identify symptoms of psychological trauma, consequences, and management to improve care for mental patients.

A total of 31 traditional and faith-based healers, comprising 25 males and six females from the two assemblies, underwent the training held in Tamale and Zabzugu.

It was a follow-up training for the participants and formed part of the strengthening access to timely and quality rehabilitation to survivors of Torture and Organised Violence (TOV) in Ghana project.

The first training, held last year, was on a trauma-informed approach to dealing with psychological trauma.
The project is being implemented by BasicNeeds-Ghana and Mental Health Society of Ghana, both non-governmental organisations, with funding from DIGNITY-Danish Institute Against Torture.

Due to people’s perception of mental illness and the insufficiency of formal health facilities, traditional and faith-based healers have become the first point of call for many families when they encounter mental illness.

Whilst traditional and faith-based caregivers remain relevant in the mental health delivery system in the country, their services leave so much to desire because of the use of uncouth methods and human rights abuses in most prayer camps and healing centres.

It was to address these challenges that the training was organised to promote sustainable rehabilitation and human rights in the work of the traditional and faith-based healers.

Mr Hannan Legend, who facilitated the sessions, encouraged participants to eschew the use of dehumanising methods in the treatment of mental disorders to ensure sustainable rehabilitation.

Participants lauded the training and expressed gratitude to the organisers for the capacity building to improve their delivery.

The training for the healers in Ga West and Ledzokuku Krowor Municipal Assembly is expected in the next few weeks.

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