No funds for Mental Health Authority – CSOs

Accra PsychiatricCivil Society Organisations (CSOs) have called on government to commit more funds to support the activities of the Mental Health Authority (MHA).

Mr Dan Taylor, the Executive Secretary for MindFreedom Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), who made the call, said the government had not provided any funding for the MHA for close to two years.

“Instead it is the Department for International Development which is funding the works and other activities of MHA when it is stated in the Mental Health Act that it is government’s responsibility to fund the MHA,” he said.

Speaking at a validation meeting of CSOs report on the Implementation of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in Accra, Mr Taylor said though the MHA had been established with a board the Legislative Instrument (LI) needed to promote its work was still in Parliament.

“Let us get the LI passed to get the MHA to be accorded the needed attention and respect to function well in the country,” he said.

Mr Jonathan Osei Owusu, the Executive Director of Perfector of Sentiments Foundation, an NGO, expressed concern at the slow pace at which Parliament was proceeding with the consideration of bills.

He said effective planning on how to review the amendment of bills was a major setback and called on parliamentarians to have better plans that would help in the reviewing of bills to support human rights conditions of the citizenry.

Mr Osei Owusu called for comprehensive plans to reform the country’s prisons and change the name from prisons to correctional centers.

Ms Wendy Abbey, the Technical Advisor at the Human Rights Advocacy Centre, organisers of the meeting, said the validation workshop was a follow-up on a series of meetings with the CSOs and commended them for their inputs into the list of issues the United Nations Human Rights Committee had adopted towards the implementation of Ghana’s status on the ICCPR.

In all 25 human rights organisations met to deliberate on issues like Affirmative Action, Right to Information and Disability and Mental Health and Rights of all citizenry.

Source: GNA

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