By Diana A. Tagoe, GNA
Accra, June 28, GNA - The Accra Psychiatric Hospital has called on District Assemblies as well as the public to take measures to support mentally challenged people.
Dr Ama Boadu, the head of Public Relations at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital told the Ghana News Agency in an interview, on Thursday, that the issue of mental health seems to have been neglected, despite it being a serious health issue in the country.
She said even though the new Mental Health Act mandates the District Assemblies to be responsible for seeking healthcare for the mentally- challenged, who roam their communities, but most often this mandate is overlooked.
Dr. Boadu urged the District Assemblies to assist mentally challenged people to get medical care to prevent them from being violent and causing harm to members of the communities and pedestrians.
She said apart from the major Psychiatric Hospitals at Accra, Pantang, and Ankaful, “there are psychiatric departments at most government hospital, which the District Assemblies must take advantage off”.
Dr Boadu said it is not only the responsibility of the District Assembly to help these people; “it behoves on all of us to seek help for such people in our communities as they could be our relatives or friends.
“Nobody is immune to mental challenges as the causes are many stemming, from psychological, social and biological factors,” she said.
She stated that chronic conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, HIV/AIDS as well as diseases such as Typhoid fever, Malaria and Goitre, among others, could also ignite mental conditions.
Dr Boadu, also expressed concern about some families who at times neglect family relations with mental challenges on admission at Psychiatric Hospitals.
She called on government to help psychiatric hospitals by supplying them with the needed drugs, and advised Ghanaians to “take mental health issues seriously and seek advice regularly”.