The Alliance for Mental Health and Development, made up of civil society actors in mental health, held a national meeting in Accra on Wednesday, 18th September 2019 under the theme “Improving Mental Health Policy and Service in Ghana” . The meeting was funded by UK aid. In attendance were representatives of regional alliances of mental health and development from Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Greater Accra, Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Central Regions.
The Executive Director of BasicNeeds-Ghana and Convenor of the National Alliance for Mental Health and Development said that the Alliance was created in response to the need for a common platform where actors in mental health could act in concert and collectively advocate on mental health issues in Ghana. This happened at the height of the campaign for the mental health bill to be passed into law. He continued that following the passage of the law, there was the need to sustain advocacy efforts to ensure the full implementation of the Mental Health Law (Act 846). He said that inadequate funds had been the main challenge preventing many of the regional chapters of the Alliance to become active. He, therefore, thanked UK aid for continuing to support BasicNeeds-Ghana, who in turn, have supported the Alliance to stay alive and provide advocacy services in the various regions.
Peter Badimak Yaro further briefed the participants of a 6-month intervention funded by UK aid which aimed to sustain the momentum in mental health advocacy in Ghana to assure good mental health and wellbeing through collective civil society actions. He explained that the intervention was expected to improve the mental health policy and service environment, increase funding for integrated community mental health care at the Primary Health Care (PHC) level and improve mental health and wellbeing of poor and vulnerable persons with mental health care needs
The representatives of the regional chapters present later briefed the meeting of their plans for celebrating the forthcoming World Mental Health Day (10th October 2019). The plenary session was used to synchronise these plans into a coherent national agenda of the Alliance in order to achieve the stated results.