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Assemblies are neglecting mental health care – Basic Needs-Ghana

A Knowledge Based Management and Communication Officer of Basic Needs-Ghana, Fred Nantogmah says issues regarding mental health care have not been prioritized by many districts assemblies.

According to him, many district assemblies contribute very little or nothing at all in equipping various mental health units within their jurisdiction, despite government’s financial allocations to psychiatric facilities in the country.

He noted that government has allocated funds to psychiatric facilities, but for some time Basic Needs-Ghana has never heard of any disbursements of such funds to community mental health facilities, which for the organization is worrying.

“The reason is that there are no measurement based indicators in place to check these attitudes by the assemblies. The thing is, the assemblies have decided not to use the funds allocated by government to help in equipping these mental health facilities. Per our findings, issues that are confronting mental health care are not lack of mental health professionals, but simply logistics.” Mr. Nantogmah explained.

Mr. Nantogmah made these comments at a media engagement organised by Basic Needs-Ghana in collaboration with Star Ghana, to create awareness on tracking resources for community based mental health service in the various districts.

Basic Needs-Ghana is a mental health and development advocacy organisation that implements and promotes initiatives to transform the lives of persons with mental illness or epilepsy by providing access to integrated mental health care in communities.

Basic Needs findings was based on six districts in the Upper East Region (Bongo, Talensi, Nabdam, Binduri, Bawku West and Bolgatanga Municipality) where it was revealed that non of these districts and municipality were practically using their allocations to support the facilities and even those that were using, only used 0.7 percent of their allocation.

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Meanwhile, Upper East Regional Mental Health Coordinator, Edem Quarshie Ameglah confirmed Basic Needs finding, adding that issues regarding mental health care for some have not had the attention of its stakeholders.

Source: A1radioonline.com | Moses Apiah | Ghana

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