Some 24,790 persons in Ghana presented with schizophrenia in 2022
The number of people seeking help for schizophrenia increased to 20,755 in 2021 and further to 24,790 persons in 2022. And the Mental Health Authority has indicated its commitment to promote humane care for individuals with schizophrenia from the creation of policies through to their execution.
It said by adopting the Quality Rights e-training in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Authority had been working at ensuring the fundamental human rights of persons with schizophrenia and other mental health conditions are guaranteed.
A statement issued in Accra to commemorate the World Schizophrenia Day said while on the rights of persons living with mental illness, the Authority would like to reiterate the ban on chaining and shackling that has been in place since 2019.
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by impairment in thinking, behaviour and perception of reality.
Persistent symptoms such as auditory and visual hallucinations, delusional thinking, disorganized speech, thoughts and behaviour are often observe.
“In addition, the Authority has been working to raise public awareness of schizophrenia and other mental health issues, whilst also striving for further improvements in accessibility to care,” it added.
The statement said it was also important to note the efforts made by non-governmental organizations and other mental health advocacy groups to raise awareness and reduce stigma.
On World Schizophrenia Day, the Mental Health Authority urges the public, development partners, caregivers, community organizations, and all other interested parties to collaborate to remove obstacles and broaden support for those who live with schizophrenia.
This includes increasing funding for mental health research and creating more inclusive communities that support and empower individuals living with schizophrenia.
“We encourage everyone to take a moment to learn more about schizophrenia,” it added.
The statement called on stakeholders to join the Authority in breaking down barriers and creating a world where everyone has access to the care and support they need to live healthy and productive lives.
Records from the District Health Information Management Systems (DHIMS) show that the prevalence of schizophrenia is increasing.
As at 2020, 19,856 persons had presented for help. This increased to 20,755 persons in 2021 and further to 24,790 persons in 2022.
By the end of March this year, 8,446 persons have been recorded and should be a concerning matter to all of us.
This is because some of them, including those who for fear of stigmatisation do not report for professional help end up on the streets.