Ghanaians urged to seek immediate help for emotional, psychological stresses

The Central Regional Health Directorate has entreated citizens experiencing emotional and psychological pressures to seek professional help immediately to safeguard their mental health.

Mrs Edem Tamakloe, the Regional Focal Person on Mental Health, cautioned that such pressures could degenerate into mental health disorders if victims were not taken through early management.

She gave the admonition at a stakeholders’ engagement organised by the Regional Health Directorate in Cape Coast as part of the Mental Health Awareness Month dubbed, “Purple Month.”

The Mental Health Authority has set aside the month of May every year for an intensive mental health campaign to sensitise the public on mental health issues and to help reduce the incidence of mental health disorders in the country.

This year’s campaign will shine the spotlight on mental health concerns among pregnant and lactating mothers, students and workers through radio conversations, school health talks, community engagements, and street float.

There would also be mental health screening at selected marketplaces as well as workshop and webinars for practitioners.

“If you are going through such troubles, I urge you to speak up and seek help and then we can better manage you from getting into the worst-case scenario.

“All over the region, there are mental health personnel in the district hospitals and health centres or speak to a health worker to refer you to the point of care,” Mrs Tamakloe said.

Citing data from the World Health Organisation, Mrs Tamakloe indicated that 13 per cent of pregnant women and 15.6 per cent of mothers who had just delivered, experienced mental health issues out which only 10 per cent sought treatment.

At the workplace, one of every five people experienced mental health conditions while one of seven children from 10 to 19 years experienced mental health disorders in school.

Mrs Tamakloe explained that there were many different types of mental health disorders caused by socioeconomic, environmental, biological, and other factors and patients could be taken through psychological, medical, and psychosocial managements.

“Seeking help early facilitates the management and prevents some of the conditions from getting worse,” she stressed.

The Mental Health Focal Person further noted that mentally ill persons roaming on the streets were the responsibility of the district assemblies and the Regional Coordinating Councils and called for a concerted efforts to take them off the street.

For his part, Dr Jojo Cobbinah, Deputy Regional Director in charge of Public Health, observed that persons living with mental health conditions were among the most stigmatised people in Ghana.

He urged the public to consider the condition as any other illness and desist from mistreating such patients.

Instead, he said such people should be treated with love and empathy as community participation was critical in their recovery process.

Source: GNA

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