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Regional News of Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Source: GNA

Basic Needs supports persons recovering from mental illness

Basic Needs Ghana, NGO, has presented training equipment to 58 stabilized mentally illness persons in the Upper East Region.

The training equipment include sewing machines, soap making machines and beads making machines. Each of the beneficiaries received equipment in line with training received.

The NGO, which is a mental health and development advocacy organization, said it would also sponsor the training of the beneficiaries who were drawn from the Bolgatanga Municipal, Kassena-Nankana Municipal, Bongo, Talensi, Bawku West and the Binduri Districts in the Region.

Prior to the handing over, Basic Needs Ghana provided training for some Master Artisans on how to manage the beneficiaries during their period of apprenticeship.

Speaking at the handing over ceremony, in Bolgatanga, Mr Bernard Azure, the Regional Coordinator of Basic Needs Ghana, said the equipment would help enhance the capacity of the beneficiaries who would eventually use them to generate income to improve upon their livelihoods.

He explained that his outfit sought to promote and implement initiatives to transform the lives of people with mental illness and epilepsy by providing them access to integral care, social and economic services at the communities in Ghana.

“Through the process, we empower individuals and their families and involve communities and partner with government and other organizations to influence public opinion and policies and enable people with mental illness or epilepsy to live and work successfully,” he said.

The Regional Coordinator said Basic Needs Ghana was implementing a project dubbed: “Empowering People with Mental Illness or Epilepsy in Ghana, in Rural Areas of Northern Ghana.

He said the project was being funded by the Big Lottery of the United Kingdom and noted that under the project, mental ill patients would be supported to improve upon their health needs.

He said the project targeted 3,750 mental challenged persons and 2,700 families who were caretakers of the mentally challenged persons to collectively express their needs and promote self-advocacy, through Self- Help Groups.

“These include access to community health-based mental health services, government grants, skills training, employment, and inclusive policies that guarantee non-discriminatory school environments and participation in civic activities.

“It will work with health authorities in the targeted regions to ensure that mental health services are provided in hard to reach areas,” he stated.

Whilst lauding the efforts of the Government for promulgating the Mental Health Bill into Law, he called on Regional Coordinating Councils, Municipal and District Assemblies to contribute towards addressing the challenges of mental health.

Mr Daniel Syme, the Deputy Upper East Regional Minister, commended the NGO for the support and noted that Basic Needs Ghana over the years had played a significant role by complementing the government’s efforts in tackling mental health challenges, and appealed to other NGOs to join the crusade.