Enhance advocacy and sensitisation on rights of persons with mental illness – Stakeholders appeal

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Mental Health
Mental Health

Some stakeholders in the mental health sector have called for enhanced advocacy and sensitisation on the rights of persons with mental illness to minimise the prevalence of suicidal cases recorded in the country.

The World Health Organisation reports that about 700,000 people die due to suicide every year, which remains the fourth leading cause of death among people aged 15 – 29.

Mr Peter Badimak Yaro, the Executive Director of BasicNeeds-Ghana, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Tamale ahead of World Mental Health Day, expressed the need to intensify media advocacy by featuring mental health issues.

It was also crucial to mobilise a critical mass of advocates, comprising people who had experienced mental illnesses, to guide others with similar or same conditions, to navigate the healing process, he said.

Mr Yaro called for better investment into research to generate empirical evidence on the state of mental health in Ghana to inform policy to address the numerous challenges confronting the sector.

Mr Peter Amadu Mintir, the Executive Director of Total Life Enhancement Centre (TOLEC-GH), a psychology focused organisation, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said suicide cases recorded among mental illness patients were triggered by stigmatisation, discrimination and abuse.

“It is time for our communities to know that mental illness is treatable and manageable like any other sickness, hence the need to seek early medical support,” he said.

Mr Mintir advised persons suffering from any mental health condition to prioritise psychological services to help reduce suicide cases in the country.

This year’s World Mental Health Day is scheduled for October 10, on the theme: “Mental Health is a Universal Human Right”.

The day was first observed in 1992 by the World Federation for Mental Health to create awareness on the condition and the need to support victims.

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