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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

MHA reaffirms commitment to advancing mental health act implementation

The Mental Health Authority (MHA) has reiterated its commitment to continue to work with relevant stakeholders to advocate for further advancements in the Mental Health Act’s implementation at all levels.

The Authority also underscored the need for the complete integration of mental health services into general healthcare services.

In a statement dated Tuesday, June 18, the authority said it  “will continue to work with all relevant stakeholders to advocate for further advancements in the Mental Health Act’s implementation at all levels, the complete integration of mental health services into general healthcare services, and a stronger push to educate and raise awareness about mental health.

“It should be noted that Section 73 of the Mental Health Act enjoins District Assemblies, Social Welfare Services, Security Services, health professionals, family members, and any other citizen to play specific roles in the care of persons with mental disorders found in public places.”

The Authority pleaded with the government, stakeholders, CSOs, the private sector, and the public for their support to ensure the improvements envisioned by the Act.

The Authority’s comments follow an incident in which a patient, suspected of showing symptoms of mental health issues, was allegedly abandoned in a bush at Gomoa Ojobi in the Central Region. The patient had previously been admitted to the Trauma and Specialist Hospital in Winneba but was reportedly left in the bush, raising concerns about the handling of mental health cases

The Authority also cited a 2-year-old who was in a critical state after allegedly being assaulted by a person with a mental disorder found in a public place.

“The first incident was of a 2-year-old who was in a critical state after allegedly being assaulted by a person with mental disorder found in public place, who repeatedly smashed her head on the ground. Reports received by the Authority indicate she has been discharged from the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital but requires further outpatient management.

“The second tragic incident involved a patient allegedly suspected of experiencing some symptoms of mental health illness being abandoned in a bush at Gomoa Ojobi in the Central Region, after being on hospital admission at the Trauma and Specialist Hospital, Winneba. The victim was later found dead by community members. ”

The Authority commended the Ghana Health Service for commencing a probe into the Gomoa Ojobi incident.

“The Authority is awaiting the Ghana Health Service’s report on its current investigations and commends the Service for starting a probe

It extended its deepest sympathies to both victims and their families.

“The Authority extends its deepest sympathies to both victims and their families. Although extremely saddened, the Authority acknowledges that such incidents reflect the severe systemic flaws that plague the nation’s mental health landscape. They also draw attention to the negative outcomes of stigmatisation, discrimination, and a general lack of concern for those who are thought to suffer from mental health illnesses.”

Click to read the statement by the Mental Health Authority

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