Godwill Arthur-Mensah/Rita Adjeley Adjei, GNA
Accra, Oct. 19, GNA – Besstel Child and Adult
Psychiatric Foundation, a charity organisation interested in the welfare of
mental patients on Friday launched a mental health awareness campaign to
educate the public on mental health issues and how to seek medical attention.
The Foundation announced that it would soon
embark on a two-week mental health awareness campaign in Greater Accra and
Central regions to improve the standard of mental healthcare in the country.
The campaign would be held at separate venues,
including the Black Stars Square in Accra on October 27, Victoria Park, Cape
Coast on October 28 and Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital on October 29.
Addressing journalists at a news briefing in
Accra on Friday ahead of the Campaign, Madam Stella Nutakor, the Founder and
Chief Director of the Foundation, said mental health was about offering optimal
and quality care to people suffering from mental challenges, instead of
stigmatising and leaving them on the streets.
She announced plans to establish an assessment
centre to enable individuals experiencing mental health challenges to access
emotional and psychological assistance, which formed part of the Foundation’s
vision and mission to improve the standard of mental healthcare in Ghana.
She said the Foundation solicited support from
some volunteers in UK, who were specialists in occupational therapy, pharmacy
and food nutrition as well as experts in mental health investigations working
at the National Health Service, East London Foundation Trust, to carry out
various sensitisations during the Campaign.
She explained that the volunteers would also
educate the public on how to use nutrition to manage mental health challenges
and offer guidance on the appropriate usage of medication to manage stress and
Madam Nutakor called for collaborative support
from both public and private corporate institutions to make the awareness
creation a success and observed that a lot of people in top management
positions were undergoing stress and could not enjoy quality sleep.
Therefore, she said it was imperative to offer
assistance to them so that they would enjoy quality life.
Madam Nutakor said she left Ghana for the
United Kingdom at age 14 and on her return to the country, a few years ago; she
was disheartened about the poor condition of mental healthcare standards in the
In view of that, she established the
Foundation in March this year to galvanise support for mental healthcare.
Meanwhile, Marianne Bolton, an Occupational
Therapist, Hilda Blankson, a Food Nutritionist, Susana Fontela, a Pharmacist,
all volunteers from the NHS East London Foundation Trust, took turns to express
their readiness to support the awareness creation campaign.
Madam Blankson, the Food Nutritionist from the
NHS, East London Trust, who is a Volunteer with the Foundation, stated that
food and nutritional value was an essential factor in managing mental health
challenges, saying;”Food is also very important in helping a mental health
patient, therefore some foods are not supposed to be overcooked so as to
maintain the minerals and vitamins’’.
Mr Bessa Simons, a renowned Afro-Highlife
Musician, who is a Co-director of the Foundation, said while growing up, there
were people in society who behaved strangely and often did not understand their
However, he said when he grew up; he got to
understand their conditions and therefore, advised families whose relatives
were undergoing mental health challenges to send them to the appropriate health
facility for prompt attention, instead of leaving them on the street at the
mercy of the weather.