COVID-19: Minister commends psychology practitioners for “prompt “ interventions

Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu Minister Of Health
Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu Minister Of Health

Mr Kwaku Agyeman- Manu, Minister for Health, has commended psychology practitioners for their interventions at the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘‘The Ministry appreciates the prompt response in mobilising yourselves to provide psychological services to infected COVID-19 patients when contacted on a very short notice, ’’ he said.

The Minster said this in a speech read on his behalf at the fourth induction ceremony for Licensed Professionals, Paraprofessionals and Lay Practitioners in Accra by the Ghana Psychology Council.

It was on the theme: ‘‘Emerging Diseases, Post – Covid and Psychological Well-being.”

A total of 411 licensed professionals of the various fields of practice were inducted and presented with certificates.

The recent COVID-19 pandemic, he said, and many foreseeable emerging diseases emphasised the fact that the roles of psychologists and counsellors worldwide could not be overemphasised and ignored.

“Approximately, seven per cent of our Gross National Product that is lost is because care is not provided for the mental health of ordinary citizens and this has been worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic,’ he noted.

The Minister said it was, therefore, imperative for the country to have efficient and effective psychological services, which only psychology practitioners could provide.

He emphasised that their critical roles in providing and promoting emotional balance, mental health and wellbeing in the country was crucial to ensuring rapid socio-economic growth and recovery of the local economy.

Mr Kwaku Agyeman- Manu said for example, they could help reduce the burden of emotional and mental disorders in schools and increase productivity in the workplace and communities.

He charged the inductees to familiarise themselves with the content of the laws and practice standards of the profession.

Dr Dinah Baah-Odoom, the Registrar, the Ghana Psychology Council ( GPC), said it was a crime to ascribe one’s self as a psychologist, practice and render psychological services, including all kinds of counselling and administration of psychological instruments without the requisite license.

‘‘The legal and ethical practice of applied psychology in Ghana is no longer overlooked,’’ she said.

She said one was expected to have completed a three to four years of undergraduate psychology degree course from a properly accredited institution to become a professional psychologist.

The Registrar said one would also have to pass the licensure examination to practice in the country.

Dr Baah-Odoom advised the inductees to know their limits and work within their mandates.

Dr Collins Badu Agyemang, President, Ghana Psychological Association (GPA), said they supported organisations and the citizenry in alleviating the fears, stress and anxieties that were associated with the pandemic.

Dr Agyemang appealed to Government and private organisations to engage psychologists in their decision making processes to enhance their work.

The Ghana Psychology Council (GPC) is an independent quality and standards organisation mandated by the Health Professions Act 857 Section 5, to secure in the public interest the highest standards in the training, profession and practice of applied psychology in the country.

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