Some 3.1 million Ghanaians would suffer psychological disorders
Some 3.1 million Ghanaians representing 10 per cent of the population would be susceptible to one form of psychological disorder or distress in their life-time and the current economic situation in the country would cause an increase in the numbers.
Three hundred and eighty-five newly inducted Psychologists have promised to refrain from all acts of professional indiscipline including receiving personal favour or financial gains to induce them for preferential consideration against the interest of a client.
They also gave an assurance not to use their facilities for unauthorised practices and to work within their competences, acknowledge their limits and hold in confidence personal information entrusted to them to protect their clients’ privacy and dignity.
The Psychologists, who were the sixth batch to be inducted by the Ghana Psychology Council, made the pledge on Wednesday at the induction ceremony in Accra to commence operations.
The inductees received certificates to practice as different professionals – Clinical Psychologists, Social Psychologists, Industrial or Organisation Psychologists, Rehabilitation and Disability Professionals, Guidance and Counselling Professionals, Pastoral Counsellors, Psychologists Assistants, Para Professional Counsellors and Lay Practitioners.
Professor Angela Ofori-Atta, Chairperson, Ghana Psychology Council, said the recent global crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic and price hikes had heightened the daily pressures of life and made psychological services a need for all.
In normal times, she said 3.1 million Ghanaians representing 10 per cent of the population would have one form of psychological disorder or distress in their life time and it was only expected that the numbers increased in this challenging economic time the country was hit with.
This economic hardship could resort to acts of suicide and substance abuse especially among young people, she said.
Making reference to a research conducted by the University of Ghana, Prof. Ofori-Atta said approximately seven per cent of GDP was lost yearly in Ghana to mental challenges, as a result of loss in productivity.
She, therefore, called for investment in mental health and wellbeing to promote socio-economic growth.
The Council Chairperson asked the inductees to keep up competence with practice and their clients at heart at all times.
“Please update your skills and renew your license in order not to get into trouble. Try to uphold professional standards and exercise discipline on the profession,” she advised.
Mrs Tina Mensah, the Deputy Minister of Health admonished the inductees to help reduce emotional and mental disorders in schools, communities and churches to increase productivity at the workplace.
Speaking on the theme: “Happiness for All, Promoting Psychological Wellbeing in Ghana,” she alerted the inductees on the need to practise within their areas of expertise to give the right energy in helping to reduce common environmental stress, depression and anxiety among some members of the population.
The Deputy Minister asked the inductees to subject themselves to discipline and abide by the code of conducts of the Council and their work place.
She gave an assurance that the Ministry would provide them with the necessary support to ensure that they had access to career and job opportunities within their fields.
Dr Collins Badu Agyemang, President of Ghana Psychological Association, said ensuring that people stayed happy or devoid of depression was a great need and a mandate of Psychologists.
“When UAE and the UK appointed Ministers of Happiness, and when Japan appointed a Minister of Loneliness, people were shocked, but the needs in society on depression is huge,” he said.
Dr Agyemang urged the practitioners to be the driving force of their mandate to give the best of mental health to citizens.
“Support the happiness index of the country and don’t go beyond what you have been licensed to do. As professionals, the more we update ourselves like a computer, the more efficient we will become,” he advised.
The Council used the platform to introduce its third Board chaired by Prof. Angela Ofori-Atta and presented a citation to Reverend Dr Dinah Baah-Odoom, its Acting Registrar between 2013 and 2016 and substantive Registrar between 2016 and 2022 for her hard work to ensure that a secretariat and guidelines were set up for practice.