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Mental Health Doctor Calls for Rigorous Education on Mental Health

The Head of Psychiatric Health at the Atua Government Hospital in the Lower Manya Krobo municipality of the Eastern region, Dr. Sebastian Soglo has made a strong call for the concern of mental health to be taken seriously in this country. According to him, the sustenance of such awareness and education is necessary to address the situation in which we find ourselves in such as that of mental health challenges.

Dr. Soglo who made the call as part of celebrations of the 2017 Mental Health Week in the municipality said his appeal arises out of the fact that every human being has some degree of mental challenge confronting them.

The medical officer made the call as part of celebrations marking the 2017 mental health week in the municipality. This event formed part of the programmes of the Ministry of Health and the Mental Health Authority to mark this year’s mental health week. This platform was held at all health centers including hospitals to have an open day with the public.

Explaining the significance of the day, the medic who elucidated these sentiments in an interview with host of Rite FM’s Morning Ride, observed that mental health was a serious condition and which education ought to be taken seriously.

He maintains that observing the day in collaboration with the international community was laudable because the country stood the risk suffering a mental health crisis if it did not create awareness or educate its populace on the menace.

‘Mental Health is the state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully and be able to make contributions to his or herself or community,’ he added.

He noted that while human beings deserve to cope with normal circumstances of life, there are certain natural and artificial conditions that can serve as obstacles.

He attributed mental health problems to both physical and psychological causes. The physical causes include birth trauma, brain injury and drug abuse which he explained can directly affect brain interaction which can contribute to mental illness.

On the other hand, psychological causes of the condition include ‘financial constraints such as low income or salary, lack of employment, marriage and family burdens which can depress anyone emotionally, leading to them committing suicide.’

The Head of the Psychiatric Health therefore highlighted his call for the investment in mental Health Awareness which he noted was paramount. He also emphasized that developed countries invest in Mental Health Awareness because natural pressure which arises at work and other fields of life can cause individual, society and a nation, but developing countries including Ghana do not invest much.

The week-long event which began on Saturday, October 7, 2017, was held under the theme: Mental Health at Workplace. It was characterized with clean-up exercises, a press launch and a public lecture at the Accra International Conference Center, an open day at the Mental Health Facilities across the country, a durbar of chiefs and a float and a debate competition at Takoradi. The activities will end on Sunday, 15th October, 2017 with a thanksgiving service.

The statistics are staggering; 1 in 5 young people suffer from a mental illness, that’s 20 percent of our population but what percentage of the National Health budget is spent on mental healthcare?

Source: Prince Paul Amuzu//ritefmonline.org

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