Prosper K. Kuorsoh, GNA
Wa, Oct. 10, GNA – Dr Sheila Appiah-Pippim, Medical Doctor, Resident in Psychiatry, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, has advised workers to endeavour to go on leave to have enough rest and to avoid depression and anxiety.
She also urged employers to grant leave to their employees to enable them to have enough rest to boost their health, adding that they should also promote employees to prevent them from being depressed.
Dr Appiah-Pippim, who gave the advice at a media briefing in Wa to mark the 2017 World Mental Health Day, stressed the need to have a mental health unit in every regional health facility to cater for referral cases from the communities and districts.
She noted that such units should be given innovative names instead of “Mental Health Unit” which according to her, was associated with stigma.
Mr Theophilus Owusu, a Deputy Director in Charge of Clinical Care at the Upper West Regional Health Directorate, said all health facilities in the region had Mental Health Units.
The region, he said, however had no single Clinical Psychiatrist and therefore depended on the services of one Clinical Psychologist at the Jirapa District Hospital supported by other Community Mental Health Nurses across the region.
“There are a total of 106 mental health workers in the region comprising one Clinical Psychologists, one Clinical Psychiatric Officer, 50 Registered Mental Health Nurses used as Community Psychiatric Nurses, and 52 Technical Officers (Community Mental Health)”, he explained.
Mr Owusu said because the region had prioritised mental health, the structures to provide services were well established but pointed out family level stigmatisation as the biggest problem hindering their efforts in the region.
Mr. Owusu said because the region had prioritised mental health, the structures to provide services were well established but pointed out family level stigmatisation as the biggest problem hindering their efforts in the region.
The Deputy Director in charge of Clinical Care said mental health victims would have about 90 percent of their problems solved, if stigmatisation at the family level was reduced.
Mr Owusu commended BasicNeeds, a non-governmental organisation for supporting the region with drugs and sometimes specialist services, adding that such support had sustained their efforts over the years.
He also expressed concern about the cost of drugs for mental health patients which were usually imported and advocated local pharmaceutical companies in Ghana to be allowed to produce the medicine in order to make it affordable and accessible.
Mr Randy Sedem Agbodo, the Upper West Regional Coordinator, Mental Health Services, noted that one in every five people experienced a mental health condition, while one in every four adults would likely experience mental health difficulties at some point in their lives.
Despite this, lack of a shared vision for mental health coupled with prejudice and discrimination remained barriers in the fight against mental health at work place, he said.
Depression and anxiety disorders are common mental disorders that have an impact on people’s ability to work and to be productive.
Globally, more than 300 million people are suffering from depression, which is said to be the leading cause of disability, with more than 260 million living with anxiety disorders.
A recent World Health Organisation led study estimates that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy one trillion dollars each year, in lost productivity.
The theme for this year's celebration is "Mental Health at Work Place".