Mental disorders and depression are the leading cause of suicide in the country, Dr Akwasi Osei, Acting Chief Executive Officer Mental Health Authority said on Monday.
He said the illness contributed 90 per cent of all cases of suicide recorded every year and appealed to the general public to help patients to visit and to seek medication at the various psychiatric facilities.
Dr Osei was speaking at a workshop on dissemination of key provision of the Mental Health Law (ACT 846) in Sunyani, organised by Mission of Hope Society International (MIHOSO) and Basic Needs Ghana, Non-governmental Organisations.
It was attended by District Directors of Health Services, Civil Society Organisations, Municipal and District Assemblies and other health staff.
Dr Osei noted that though the Mental Health Act (846) was however promulgated, stigmatization and discrimination of patients and health workers was rife and a collective but holistic approach was needed to address the challenge.
He observed that instead of sending their children with mental disorders to the psychiatric facilities, some parents and families rather hide them in their homes, stressing that such situation thwart efforts by the government in confining patients for medication.
Dr Osei expressed the worry that people with mental disabilities went through all forms of abuses and injustice, stressing that with the passage of the Mental Health Act 846, any person or group who trampled on the rights of patients committed serious offence.