Minister worries about under-funding for mental health services

Steth3Mr Justice Samuel Adjei, the Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister,  on Friday expressed worry that mental health was still under-funded and under-prioritized.

He noted that the supply of essential medicines needed by people with mental illness to become stabilized remained irregular.

Mr Adjei was speaking at a durbar to mark the 2015 celebration of the World Mental Health Day on the theme: “Dignity in Mental Health – Right of Every Person”.

The Mission of Hope International Society (MIHOSO), in collaboration with Basic Needs Ghana, health centered non-governmental organizations, organized the durbar attended by chiefs, queen-mothers and civil society organization and some mentally challenged persons.

Mr Adjei noted with concern that people with mental illness still suffered discrimination, stigmatization and other human rights abuses.

The effect of all these inadequacies, the Deputy Minister said, was affecting the development of the country’s health sector.

Mr Adjei stressed that mental illness was extremely debilitating, as it made it impossible for the country to maximize the use of human resources.

Dr Gabriel Gbiel Benarkuu, the Chief Executive Officer of the MIHOSO, said his organization and her partners were working to expand coverage of community-based mental health services to at least 540 communities in Brong-Ahafo by the end of 2018.

He emphasized the importance to develop and use technology to create an effective and efficient mental health system that effectively addressed the needs of persons with mental illness and epilepsy.

Dr Benarkuu said through the organisation’s outreach clinics, deprived and hard to reach communities in Brong-Ahafo now had access to mental health services, whilst it had also resulted in increased demand in mental health services.

Mr Peter Badimak Yaro, The Chief Executive Officer of Basic Needs-Ghana, noted that inadequate supply of psychotropic medicines continued to plaque effective mental health service delivery in the country.

He disclosed Basic Needs-Ghana and its partners had supported the treatment of 26,000 poor and vulnerable people with mental health treatment needs.

Mr Yaro noted that the absence of a Legislative Instrument on the Mental Health Act (Act 846) remained procedural challenge to the effective implementation of the law.

Source: GNA

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