Strengthening access to timely and quality rehabilitation to survivors of torture and organised violence (TOV) in Ghana

This project is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Government and people of the Kingdom of Denmark through the DIGNITY Institute Against Torture (simply referred to as the DIGNITY Institute) under a partnership of the DIGNITY Institute with  BasicNeeds-Ghana and the Mental Health Society of Ghana (MEHSOG).

BasicNeeds-Ghana is the local lead organisation of the 18-month (July 2019-December 2020) initiative to strengthen access to timely and quality psychosocial and rehabilitative services support to persons who have survived Torture and Organised Violence (TOV) due to their mental ill-health conditions in Ghana. The project works to support persons that have survived inhumane treatment and human rights violations in their effort to seek treatment, especially from traditional and faith-based healing centres to benefit from psychosocial and rehabilitative support.

The project is implemented in four districts of Ghana, namely the Zabzugu District and Tamale Metropolitan Area in the Northern Region, as well as the Ga West and Ledzokuku Municipal Area of the Great Accra Region. This project build on a pilot project titled Building up informed ground for rehabilitation of survivors of torture in Ghana’, which established that there was a gap in awareness, knowledge and action on issues of torture and organized violence for which concrete steps needed to be taken to influence practice and policies to improve care and support.

In this regard, the project targets to strengthen the capacity and position of BasicNeeds-Ghana and Mental Health Society of Ghana to promote psychosocial and rehabilitation support to survivors of TOV. The project will increase knowledge, skills and attitudes of formal and informal mental health practitioners in four districts of Ghana to practice healing without use of TOV, recognise symptoms of trauma, and make referrals to formal health care structures; and To increase awareness at the local and national levels of TOV and promote the enforcement of national laws and policies in favour of survivors of these violations. The project targets to directly benefit 350 (180 female) survivors of TOV as well as work with and increase knowledge and influence practices of 60 traditional and faith-based healers, leaders of the Ghana Federation for Traditional Herbal Medicine Practitioners association (GHAFTRAM), formal [mental] health workers and community [health] volunteers.