“Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World”
BasicNeeds-Ghana and Mental Health Society of Ghana Call on Government to Improve Mental Health System to Meet Needs of Young People
Today, 10th October, 2018 is World Mental Health Day. It is a day set aside by the United Nations Organisation and led by the World Health Organisation to acknowledge efforts in improving global mental health, by increasing awareness and enhancing practices and services. The 2018 World Mental Health Day is marked under the theme: Young people and mental health in a changing world.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is supporting BasicNeeds-Ghana to implement a project aimed at enabling Persons with mental illness or epilepsy in the Savelugu Municipality of the Northern Region to attain food security and meet their nutritional needs. Target beneficiaries, numbering 100 of which 58 are female, are being supported by the project to take up dry season gardening as a sustainable livelihoods option.
The United Kingdom's Minister of State for Africa, Mrs Harriet Baldwin MP, took time off of her busy schedule to visit a self-help group (SHG) of people with mental illness or epilepsy and their care-givers at the Nima- CDR Community Social Center during her working visit to Ghana on August 28, 2018. This peer support group and several others are among self-help groups supported by BasicNeeds-Ghana with funding from UK aid.
This is a 36 month project funded by STAR-Ghana. It is intended to improve community mental health treatment through increased funding to mental health services. This will be achieved through influencing the Ministries of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) and all MMDAs, Finance (MoF) to commit resources to community mental health care; working with health care providers to improve community mental health care services; facilitating active involvement of public and mental service users in mental health care advocacy; and advocating for the approval of the Legislative Instrument (LI) of the Mental Health Law (Mental Health Act, 2012, 846). It is the expectation that once all of these are done, it will lead to an effectively functioning community mental health system in Ghana.
SMART Africa (Strengthening Mental Health and Research Training in Africa) Project is a transdisciplinary collaborative partnership funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to engage stakeholders from academia, government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and local communities in Uganda, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa in addressing child mental health burden, evidence-based intervention implementation, scale-up, service gaps.
BasicNeeds-Ghana and its implementation partners held a Programmes’ Implementation Review and Planning Meeting in Tamale from February 21st to 23rd. The meeting which took place at the International Conference Centre of the Univerisity for Development Studies, was meant to take stock of programme implementation of the 2017 project year and plan for 2018.
Experts from mental health programmes in Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria gathered in London on 16th to 22nd January, 2018 to share learning about the most effective ways to support people with mental health conditions in Africa.The five-day learning event was hosted by BasicNeeds UK, which has been part of the CBM family since 2017. It brought together three organisations that have been working to help people with mental health problems in different parts of Africa – Caritas Nyeri from Kenya, Voice Ghana from Ghana and Gede Foundation from Nigeria – along with BasicNeeds and CBM staff.
BasicNeeds Ghana has donated a computer and its accessories to the Psychiatric Unit of the Mamobi General Hospital. The donation was in response to a request made by the hospital to BasicNeeds-Ghana for support in processing and storing patient hospital records. The items, which were presented at a small ceremony at the hospital on December 20th, 2017, comprised of an HP Desktop computer, a color printer and an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) unit.
BasicNeeds-Ghana, in collaboration with the mental health staff of the Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipal (LEKMA) Hospital held a durbar to sensitise the Chiefs and people of the Ga-Dangme Traditional Area. The durbar, funded by UK aid, was held on November 21, 2017 and was graced by the the Wulomors of the Ga-Dangme Traditional Area as well as their Mankralo and other eminent chiefs and elders of the community.
The CEO of the Mental Health Authority- Ghana, Dr Akwasi Osei, has said that the biggest problems bedevilling the mental health sector in Ghana are inadequate resources, over institutionalisation, over-medicalisation and over centralisation of mental health services. He said this on the GBC in-studio talk show, ‘Talking Point’ to mark the 2017 world mental health day.