Professional cautions against collapse of psychiatric hospitals

The Accra Psychiatric HospitalDr. Catejan Jones-Takyi, a Psychiatric at the Sunyani Regional Hospital, on Thursday cautioned that facilities at Psychiatric Hospitals in the country could collapse if adequate steps are not taken to salvage them.

He said poor funding, dilapidated structures, compounded with lack of logistics and inadequate drugs were indications of this danger.

Dr. Jones-Takyi said:  “Mental health is total health” and called on key actors in the health sector to ensure the rapid passage of the mental bill into law.

He made the call at a workshop aimed at supporting advocacy and policy campaign on human rights violation against mentally deranged persons at Fiapre, near Sunyani.

The two-day workshop was organised by Mission of Hope Society International in collaboration with BasicNeeds Ghana, both non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with support from the Department for International Development.

It was attended by 36 participants drawn from Ghana Health Service, NGOs, Civil Society Organisations, media and Ghana Education Service.

Dr. Jones-Takyi emphasized that the annual budgetary for the psychiatric department of the Ghana Health Service was very low and the passage of the mental bill would enable the department to source funding from development partners.

He expressed worry that instead of parents and guardians sending their children and wards with mental disabilities to psychiatric facilities for immediate and proper health medication, they rather sent them to prayer camps and traditional healers for treatment.

Dr. Jones-Takyi said that though the cause of mental illness could somehow be attributed to demonic powers and prayers could help, psychiatric hospitals must be the first stop for people with mental illness instead of prayer camps”.

He said that drugs administered to mental patients were free of charge, and advised the general public to guide mentally deranged persons to access quality health care delivery.

Mr. Sampson Fordjour, Sunyani Municipal Psychiatric Nursing officer, said the re-integration of treated mental patients into society was a shared responsibility and entreated the general public to lend support.

He said it was the responsibility of the general public to ensure that mentally unsound persons were admitted and confined at psychiatric facilities for medication.

Mr. Fordjour appealed to the public to voluntarily seek police urgency certificate for mental patients to be sent to the mental health facility.

He expressed concern that some parents gave wrong information whenever they send their children with mentally disabilities to psychiatric centers, ostensibly with the intention to dump them there.

“This situation is a contributory factor to congestion in the various psychiatric facilities, which also find it very difficult to re-integrate those who have gone through medication with their parents”, Mr. Fordjour said.

Source: GNA

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