Home / General News / Mental illness on the rise in Assin Fosu

Mental illness on the rise in Assin Fosu

Share this with more people!

Accra PsychiatricThe number of reported cases of mental illness has risen in Assin North Municipality in two years, a situation blamed on the nation’s neglect of issues of psychological and mental illness for a long time.

The Assin North Mental Unit registered 68 clients for 2013 and 91 in 2014 putting the total attendance for the year as at November at 331.

Mrs Georgina Asimadi, Municipal Director of Health who made this known at a community durbar in Assin Foso expressed concern that out of the number 50 per cent of the cases are epilepsy.

Persons with mental illness suffer profound stigmatisation and ridicule making it difficult for reintegration in society or with their families after recovery, she said.

The Director stressed: “Most often these people are stigmatised, people point fingers at them and think they are liability, when they are supported, they can contribute their quota to the growth of their family, community and the nation.”

“There is a thin line between mentally ill persons and mentally healthy person in Ghana considering the stresses and battling that we go through,” she added.

But unfortunately, she said: “We have relegated psychological and mental health to the background for some time now, but the mind is the engine of the body and anything affecting it affects the whole body.”

Mrs Asimadi explained that the predisposing causes included poor nutrition, head injuries, substance and alcohol abuse, drug abuse during pregnancy, child abuse or hitting the head of the child repeatedly as well as physical illness and prolong labour.

Marital problems, unemployment could also predispose a person to mental illness or hereditary diseases that runs in families, according to health officials.

Mrs Asimadi said the Unit is fortunate to have Mental Health Society of Ghana and BasicNeeds Ghana, nongovernmental organisations who are working to deal with the situation in the Municipality.

The durbar was organised by BasicNeeds Ghana and Mental Health Society of Ghana (MEHSOG) with UKAID to raise awareness of issues around mental illness and how victims have been affected.

It forms part of a four-year project implemented by Basic Needs Ghana and MEHSOG to support government to build a national health system that effectively and efficiently respond to the mental health needs of the population.

The theme for the event was: “Inclusion of people with mental illness and epilepsy in government social intervention programmes at the local governance level to enhance recovery, participation and reintegration for national development.”

Mrs Eunice Tetteh, Programmes office at BasicNeeds Ghana said mental illness is treatable, adding that her outfit has reached out to about 47,000 mental patients with 27,000 patients treated and stabilised.

She said the recovered patients need the support of their families, friends and community members for their effective reintegration in the society.

According to health officials about 2.5 million Ghanaians are suffering from mental illness of varied degrees with 7,000 considered being serious.

Out of the 7,000 classified as severe, majority are women who have suffered broken marriages and relationships, examination failures or were challenged with abject poverty.

Source: GNA

Share this with more people!

Check Also

Arise Ghana protestors gather momentum at Obra spot

Several hundreds of protesters have thronged the Obra Spot, Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Tuesday morning for …