A mental health nurse, Mr. Issac Borlu has called for the full implementation of the Mental Health Act, 2012 (Act 846). According to him, the full implementation of the Act will go a long way to improve mental health in the country.
‘’We are still engaging the authorities to pass the Legislative Instrument (L.I) and that will cause for the full implementation of the Act,” he said.
The mental health act has been enacted to improve mental health care in Ghana. Ghana successfully passed a Mental Health Act law in March 2012.
The passing of the Act was a culmination of a lot of work by various individuals and institutions spanning several decades. The act sets out to re-focus the way mental health services are provided.
The Act also aims to combat stigma and discrimination against mentally ill people which is very high in Ghana.
Speaking in an interview with Zaa News, Mr Issac said though there has been some form of improvement in the establishment of psychiatric units in various clinics and hospitals in the country after the implementation of the Mental Health Act, 2012 (ACT 846), government still needs to do more.
‘’ The good thing I see after the implementation of the Act is there is an increase in community psychiatric units,” he said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that of the 21.6 million people living in Ghana, 650,000 are suffering from severe mental disorder and a further 2,166, 000 are suffering from moderate to mild mental disorder.
The treatment gap is 98% of the total population expected to have a mental disorder. He has therefore requested for the full implementation of the Legislative Instrument (L.I) by authorities.
He has also appealed to government to ensure mental health workers receive their risk allowance to enable them work with ease.
Mr. Issac also advised the general public to stop stigmatizing against people living with mental illness, saying the fear and shame is a challenge confronting victims and asked that people show love and compassion to people living with the condition.
‘’People don’t give the good care to people that we see to have mental challenges because of the perception that they might have offended someone, or taboo and suffering from that kind of punishment’’, he said.
BY: Lilian D. Walter