Managers of Health in four mid-Volta districts, along with staff responsible for mental health, Thursday attended a preparatory workshop for a project to change the circumstances of the mentally ill.
The areas are Ho Municipal, Ho-West, Agotime-Ziope and Adaklu.
The project, from now to 2017, will rope in eight other districts in the Region, targeting psychiatric cases, epileptics and habitual drunks.
Francis Asong said a survey of selected communities in the four vanguard project districts listed more than 400 such people to be handled.
Badimak Peter Yaro, Executive Director of BasicNeeds Ghana, observed that there was a huge void in mental healthcare in the country, leaving room for charlatans to operate, which the project was seeking to overturn.
He said the Basic Needs concept is a community-based approach that will see relatives and neighbours as part of the therapeutic process.
Mr Yaro said this way every affected person, could develop his or her capacity, which every mentally sick person had.
He lamented the lackluster attitude generally across the country among individuals and even institutions in relation to mental health issues.
He observed that this lethargy to mental health was unfortunately reflected by institutions with certain responsibilities for that area.
Mr Yaro said psychiatric services currently were too centralized and the Basic Needs approach was one that should bring many more to participate in mental health delivery.
He said the project will facilitate the movement of health professionals from their posts into the communities to handle cases.
An important component of the project is the participation of community volunteers, 40 of whom were trained separately at another workshop.
BasicNeeds is an English Charity with interest in mental health and with support from other donors had affected the lives of around 124,000 Ghanaians since 2002, working through BasicNeeds Ghana.
BasicNeeds Ghana was also said to be instrumental through other groups and individuals in getting the Ghana Mental Health Law (Act 846) passed by parliament.
Source : GNA/newsghana.com.gh