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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Poverty can trigger mental illness – Dr Akwasi Osei

Dr Akwasi Osei

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Mental Health Authority (MHA), Dr Akwasi Osei, has scored the state of Mental Healthcare in Ghana five (5) out of 10 base points.

According to him, if Kafui Dey, one of the three hosts of the “Breakfast Show”, a current affairs programme on GTV had asked him (Dr. Osei) before the promulgation of the Mental Health Act, Act 846, he would have scored Ghana two over 10.

Speaking on the Breakfast Show, Dr Osei said though Ghana is not doing too badly after the passage of the Mental Health Act, Act 846, in 2012, there is still a tall mountain to climb.

He explained that prior to the passage of the Mental Health Act, anyone having a problem with mental health issues and needed mental healthcare will have to travel from wherever he/she is to any of the three Psychiatric hospitals (Accra, Pantang, and Ankaful Psychiatric Hospitals) which are all located in the southern part of Ghana.

“But for the passage of the Mental Health Act, anyone who needed mental healthcare can now go to any public healthcare facility and will get some sort of mental healthcare,” the CEO of MHA asserted on Wednesday, July 13.

He added that for the coming into being of Act 846, all regional hospitals are having Psychiatric wings to attend to the Psychiatric needs of the citizenry.

Dr Osei revealed that prior to the Mental Health Act, there were only 10 psychiatrists but the number has been increased to 55.

“With the coming into being of the Mental Health Act, Act 846, Ghana has been able to decentralise mental healthcare services,” he noted.

Mental illnesses are health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking, or behavior (or a combination of these). Mental illnesses are associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work, or family activities.

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