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.

BasicNeeds-Ghana has organised a meeting of multi-sectoral stakeholders to discuss new and sustainable ways of financing community mental health in Ghana. The meeting, which was held on April 5th, 2018, was organised with funding from STAR-Ghana under a project titled: “Accessible and quality mental health care for poor and marginalised persons with mental disorders”.

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.

UK High Commissioner to Ghana, His Excellency Iain Walker, yesterday February 7th, visited mental health and epilepsy service users and their primary carers in the Tolon District of the Northern Region of Ghana. The visit was facilitated by BasicNeeds-Ghana and its implementation partner in the Northern Region, Gub-Katimali Society (GKS). The High Commissioner was in the company of Philip Smith, Country Director for DFID UK in Ghana and Liberia based in Accra, among others.

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.

Staff of BasicNeeds-Ghana is undergoing a two-day orientation on the protocols of the project Strengthening Mental Health and Research Training (SMART) Africa. The project, which is a pilot study, is part of a larger collaboration among Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and U.S researchers funded by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). In Ghana, the study is led by researchers from the University of Ghana in collaboration with BasicNeeds-Ghana. The training facilitators are Prof Fred Ssewamdle and Dr Ozge Bahar (both from Washington University) and Dr Apollo Kivumbi (SMART Africa Project Director, Uganda). The SMART Africa-Ghana team is comprised of Dr Emmanuel Asampong and Dr Abdallah Ibrahim, both from the School of Public Health, University of Ghana.

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