The World Health Organization (WHO) says almost 2.4 million Ghanaians could be suffering from various degrees of mental illness.
The organisation believes this calls for enhanced cooperation in the area of infrastructure and technical support to revamp Ghana’s wobbling mental healthcare system.
Ghana’s Mental Health Authority has on countless occasions remarked negatively about the state affairs with respect to the heavily underfunded nature of the mental healthcare system of the country.
This, according to the authority, coupled with the drastic deterioration of pre-existing infrastructure, does little to address the psychological needs of Ghanaians.
Speaking in an interview with Blessed Sogah on Foreign Affairs on JoyNews, World Health Organisation representative to Ghana, Professor Francis Kasalo, expressed worry about the trend in Ghana.
“It is in Ghana, for example, that out of the population of almost thirty million, it is estimated that almost 2.4 million have a form of mental illness. That’s not a small number, and if you are looking at that number, why are we not investing in ensuring that those people receive appropriate care? So the numbers are huge,” he said.
The WHO country representative says a major factor complicating mental healthcare delivery in Ghana is the attitude of the general public toward the health condition, which is most likely to be treated as a light-hearted matter.
He also decried the penchant to socially tag persons suffering from these illnesses as either being naturally difficult or having anger and, in extreme cases, spiritual problems.
In light of these developments, Professor Kasolo revealed that his outfit, WHO Ghana, is working out a comprehensive framework of partnership with the government of Ghana that will aim at reversing the deficiencies in the mental healthcare sector.
“People should understand that we can build capacities for people who we assume are difficult to access these services to understand why they’re behaving like that,” he said.