‘Our shortfalls are due to lack of resources’ -Mental Health Authority

The Mental Health Authority has blamed its shortfalls and inability to raise awareness for World Mental Health month on the lack of resources.

The Ashanti Regional Coordinator for the Mental Health Authority, Mrs Faustina Nuako, has blamed the authority’s shortfalls on the lack of resources, adding that, her outfit couldn’t raise enough awareness on World Mental Health month due to lack of finances.

According to her, the authority has over the years seen a consistent reduction in its government subvention, hence making it difficult to fund their operations as well as provide adequate health care to victims of mental health illness.

“Even if I know the quota given to mental health, they say one per cent of the budget is given to the authority, but here is the case they are not given it; they will say, but they don’t give it.”

Mrs Nuako remarks they are forced to deny persons with mental health complications the needed medication. This is because the needed drugs are not available.

This according to her, is the reason why the country is for some years now having to deal with a number of mentally deranged persons. Most of which are walking on the street instead of receiving health care at the various mental health facilities.

The Regional Coordinator for the Authority is therefore entreating the government and stakeholders alike, to as a matter of urgency provides resources to treat people in dire need of care.

The entire month of October is dedicated to commemorating mental health month in Ghana. And it is aimed at putting the spotlight on mental health issues.

According to the World health organisation, 650,000 people in Ghana are suffering from mental illness. And, a further 2,166,000 are suffering from a moderate to mild disorder and the treatment gap is 98 per cent.

Ghana loses US$5 billion to mental health issues

Head of the Accra psychiatric hospital, Dr Appau Pinaman revealed that Ghana loses at least 5 billion dollars per year to mental health issues.

Dr Appau said the challenge is a result of a lack of attention to the problem in the country. He, therefore, stressed the need for the government and other stakeholders to invest in mental health care in Ghana.

“About 41% of the general population in Ghana has one form or the other of some psychological distress. This costs us about 7% of our GDP loss. It means that for Ghana we’re losing this much.”

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