The Ghana Somubi Dwomadie (Ghana Participation Programme) has awarded COVID-19 Psychological Resilience Grants to seven civil society organizations (CSOs).
The grants, totalling GHC1.2 is being funded with UK Aid from the United Kingdom Government.
The awardees include; Mental Health Society of Ghana (MEHSOG), Presbyterian Community Based Rehabilitation Centre (Garu), Human Rights Advocacy Centre (HRAC) and the Christian Health Advocacy Centre (HRAC).
The rest are; Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG), Presbyterian Community Based Rehabilitation Centre (Sandema), Hope for Future Generation/Psyk Forum (HFFG/Psyk) and the Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled (GSPD).
The awardees would provide psychosocial support for people with disability, including; people with mental health disabilities.
The grant is meant to reduce the negative effects of COVID-19 on their lives. In addition, healthcare workers, and people who have had COVID-19 would also be supported with psychological services.
Madam Enyonam Azumah, Deputy Team Leader, Social Sectors, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), said the Ghana Somubi Dwumadie programme was one of the mechanisms used by the UK Government in delivering their flagship “Leave No One Behind Programme”.
She said through the Programme, the UK Government was providing up to £39.2 million to support the Government of Ghana in ensuring that the extremely poor and excluded, including people with disability and mental conditions were engaged, empowered and able to enjoy improved wellbeing, social and economic outcomes and rights.
She said they also worked with Government and other partners to strengthen the systems to deliver the interventions in the future.
“We are heartened to see that increasing access to mental health services is one of the components of the Government of Ghana’s Roadmap to achieving Universal Health Coverage by 2030,” she said.
“We call on the Government to make good on this ambition with increased investment in mental health and rehabilitation services to improve the wellbeing of all Ghanaians.”
Madam Azumah, who congratulated the awardees, also urged them to implement their various projects and with utmost respect for communities in which they were operating.
Madam Lyla Adwan-Kamara, Team Leader, Ghana Somubi Dwumadie, said the seven recipient organizations were a selection of organizations of people with disability and other CSOs working on disability and mental health.
She said the provision of funding support for disability and mental health was in line with global calls for increased investment in mental health and the need for greater investment in mental health was at the heart of this year’s World Mental Health Day celebrations this month.
Madam Adwan-Kamara noted that people with disability, including; people with mental health disability, were disproportionately impacted by emergencies like COVID-19, adding that equally, healthcare workers faced significant additional stress in their roles.
The mental health needs of these groups, as well as survivors of COVID-19, would be addressed by these important new grants.
Mr Lawrence Akuborc, Grant Advisor, Ghana Somubi Dwumadie, said the aim of the grant was to reduced the impact of COVID-19 on the lives of people who had been affected in Ghana, but more especially persons with disabilities including mental health.
Mr Humphrey Matey Kofie, Executive Secretary, MEHSOG and Mr Isaac Tuga, Project Coordinator, Presbyterian Community Based Rehabilitation (Garu), on behalf of their fellow awardees expressed gratitude to Ghana Somubi Dwumadie and the UK Government for coming to their aide.
The duo gave the assurance that the funds would be put to good use for the good of the beneficiaries.
Ghana Somubi Dwumadie is a four-year disability programme in Ghana, with a specific focus on mental health.
It is being funded with UK Aid from the UK Government.
The programme is being run by an Options’ led consortium, which also consists of BasicNeeds-Ghana, Kings College London, Sightsavers International and Tropical Health.
It focuses on areas such as promoting strong policies and systems that respect the rights of people with disability, including; people with mental health disability, and scaling up high quality and accessible mental health services.