U/E Region marks World Mental Health Day

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world mental health day
Spining

As Ghana marked World Mental Health Day, mental patients in the Upper East Region have no access to the psychotropic medicine often administered to them at health facilities.
world mental health dayThis was made known at a media engagement organised by Basic Needs Ghana in Bolgatanga to solicit the support of the media to promote mental health and development issues in the region.
The meeting, on the theme: ?The Role of the Media in Promoting Mental Health and Development in the Upper East Region,? also revealed that apart from the shortage of the medication, all the district health facilities and the Regional Health Directorate had no designated wards for mentally ill patients.
The Regional Coordinator of Mental Health, Mr Philip Aboagye, said if Government failed to pay attention to mental health, particularly ensuring the availability of drugs, the problem could worsen.
Giving the statistics of the mental situation in the region, Mr Aboagye said between January to June, 2014, the region recorded 6,760 cases of mental illnesses and gave some of the break down as psychosis, 1971 cases, epilepsy, 2988, depression, 240, anxiety, 263, and substance abuse, 281.
He said the staff-client ratio was 1:165 and that that the region had 27 mental health officers and 14 community psychiatry nurses.
Stigmatization is one of the major challenges to mental illness as families who have mental patients are being tagged, including psychiatric nurses.
Mr Bernard Azure, Projects Co-ordinator of Basic Needs Ghana in charge of Upper East Region, called on the media to embark on advocacy issues on mental illness and ensure that government hastened the operationalization of the Mental Health Law to train more specialists.

He called on government to empower the National Health Insurance Scheme to enable it to reimburse service providers to provide psychotropic medicines to patients.

GNA

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