Trust Jesus Foundation (TJF) has feted and fellowship with patients of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital.
The fellowship took the form of interaction with the patients and the sharing of food and drinks as they embraced the Christmas mood.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), the President of the TJF, Mrs. Mary Wormenor Quaicoe, in explaining the rationale for the exercise, said, “We want to feed people with mental illness as a way of putting smiles on their faces.”
Mrs. Quaicoe said mental illness was no respecter of persons since it could happen to anybody at any time, therefore urged everybody to join in the fight against the illness.
She observed that little was said about mental health in Ghana and that was why her Foundation wanted to push that agenda and lead the crusade to let people understand that mental health was crucial and Ghanaians needed to pay attention to it.
Mrs. Quaicoe said some of the inmates had been neglected over the years, which makes them feel they did not have anybody, “But they are not alone; God is with them and we are here to make them know they are not alone.”
She complained of how some psychiatric nurses, though trained, did not have passion for the job. In that regard, she insisted that, prior to being enrolled as nurses, they ought to demonstrate passion for the work which would prevent them from stigmatizing the patents when they are finally enrolled.
Mrs. Quaicoe said more needed to be done concerning how mental patients ought to be treated. “This should tell us that if God has been good to you and you are okay, don’t forget about these people, because they are human just like us,” she informed.
“The Good Book talks a lot about vulnerable people—the least you do for these people you do it for me—and that alone is a wakeup call that we should show love to people with mental illness,” she indicated.
The Vice-President of the Foundation, Mr. Bright Takyi, observed how key health was to the individual by saying, “If you are healthy and your mind is not sound, you will have challenges. The most torment you can have is with your mind.”
He informed that when ones thoughts were not positive, one would be tormented, and that was why TJF wanted to set the pace and have a lot of people make mental health a priority.
A Nursing Officer who stood in for the authorities of the hospital, Madam Lucy Eggley, showed gratitude “for remembering our patients this difficult moment and to dine and celebrate the birth of Christ with them.”
Madam Eggley pleaded with the Foundation and other organizations to frequent the hospital with their benevolence, insisting that the inmates had many needs that needed attention.
Trust Jesus Foundation is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that champions the rights of persons with mental health challenges and promotes awareness about the existence of the ailment and how to prevent its occurrence.
As part of their activities, TJF visits psychiatric hospitals and dines with the inmates at the end of every year. The Foundation was at the Pantang Hospital last year and would visit the Ankaful Hospital next year.
The Foundation also organizes Health Screening, Mental Health Campaigns, and visits to schools to educate them on the issues of mental health.