Dr. Joseph Yere, the Bono Regional Coordinator for Mental Health Care, on Tuesday appealed to government through the Regional Coordinating Council to allocate a budget for the treatment of vagrant mentally-ill persons in the Region.
He said if funding could be allocated to Mental Health Centres, mentally-ill persons wandering along the streets could be treated and integrated into the society.
Dr. Yere told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview in Sunyani, saying those people walking nakedly along the streets marred the beauty of the Region, but “they are government properties”.
He said to prevent that (mentally-ill persons roaming in the streets), the Regional Mental Health Centre presented a comprehensive budget to previous Regional Ministers, but due to the change of government, the Centre could not receive any support, explaining that had made it difficult to provide the needed care for such people.
Dr. Yere said there was the need for mental health professionals to advocate and sensitize the public to correct the erroneous notion on mental health disorders to create the understanding that “mental illness is not a curse or spiritual problem”.
Rather relatives of affected persons should immediately report cases to nearby health facilities for attention and effective treatment of victims, he added.
Dr. Yere stated symptoms that appeared on a mentally-ill person included sleeplessness, physical and verbal aggression, roaming aimlessly.
He emphasised mental disorder could be caused by either a hereditary or a person’s constitutional factors – hormonal imbalance and “idiopathy”.
Dr. Yere stated there were mental health treatment units in the district hospitals and advised the public to access quality mental health care delivery services which include counselling for mental health patients.
He also entreated mental health professionals to treat their patients with “human concern” and provide proper counselling as part of the treatment and case management process to ensure their full recovery.