SHEPThe two-day training, which was organised by BasicNeeds-Ghana, a mental health and advocacy organisation, was also to make the SHEP Coordinators more interested in mental health issues to be able to offer appropriate support services to pupils and students.

The beneficiary SHEP Coordinators were selected from West Mamprusi, Karaga, Chereponi and Tamale.

The training formed part of the “Strengthening Community Mental Health Services to improve Women and Youth Mental Health in Ghana” project, being implemented by BasicNeeds-Ghana with support from the Department for International Development.

Mr Badimak Peter Yaro, the Executive Director of BasicNeeds-Ghana, whose speech was read, on his behalf, complained about the lack of adequate mental health services in the country, largely because of low number of psychiatrists to offer support services to mental health patients.

Mr Yaro said the situation made pupils and students with mental health issues to sometimes drop out of school, making them to lose out in contributing to national development.

He said this informed the decision to train SHEP Coordinators because they worked at the school level and were more predisposed to issues of mental health amongst pupils and students.

Therefore, they would provide the appropriate support services to such pupils and or students.

Madam Abiba Abosore, the Deputy Northern Regional Director of Education, described the training as important as it was in line with the inclusive education policy being promoted by the government to ensure that all children, including physically challenged ones, got educated.

Madam Abosore, therefore, commended BasicNeeds-Ghana for complementing the government’s efforts at promoting mental health education in schools.

She urged parents not to hide their children who had any form of disability, saying such children must be helped to realise their full potential to contribute to the development of the nation.

Mr Tieba Kodjo Karim, the SHEP Coordinator at the Chereponi Senior High School, who was one of the beneficiaries, said the training had helped him to better understand issues of mental health and epilepsy.

He gave the assurance that they would impart the knowledge to others to help people with such conditions.

It workshop ended at the weekend in Tamale.



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