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Health News of Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Source: GNA

Authority launches 2015 Mental Health Day celebrations

File Photo: Mental patients File Photo: Mental patients

The Mental Health Authority (MHA) has launched the 23rd edition of the Mental Health Day celebration in Accra on the theme: “Dignity in Mental Health”.

Dr Pinaman Appau, acting Director, Accra Psychiatric Hospital, said programmes for the 2015 week-long celebration would include; a public lecture today October 13, open day of mental health facilities on October 14, and health education and talks in the communities on October 15.

On October 16, there will be a meeting with chiefs and traditional rulers as well as visitation to a faith based healing centre both in Cape Coast.

Saturday October 17 will be the grand durbar with a thanksgiving service to be held on October 18 as the climax of events,” she said.

According to Dr Appau, this year’s celebration would take place in the central region with most of the activities planned to be a nationwide event.

Dr Appau, however, advised the public to stop the stigmatization and discrimination against mental patients, especially when mental health in Ghana had gotten to a stage of maturity particularly with the introduction of the MHA.

“Traversing the path we have charted, we estimate mental health care in the country to measure up to the best in the world in the next ten years.

“Through the ingenuity of the MHA, mental healthcare in Ghana has developed and embarked on a medium to long term development plan and is poised to bring on board all resources required for the effective and efficient implementation of projects and programmes designed in the medium to long term plan,” she said.

Dr Apau noted the recognition, regulation, and collaboration with faith based and traditional healers around the country as some of the critical plans designed going forward.

“Again to achieve this, we have embarked on a program to positively affect the attitude of our service providers through training, monitoring and motivation of our staff and care-givers around the nation,” she added.

“We believe that this is the only way to accord people living with mental illness the dignity and respect they deserve,” she said.

World Mental Health Day is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy celebrated on October 10 every year.

It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the world Federation Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts of 150 countries.

The day was later adopted by the United Nations to be observed annually.

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