Sunday, 14 July

Integrate mental health services into general healthcare - MHA

Health News
The MHA reminded all parties of their specific roles in the care of individuals with mental disorders

The Mental Health Authority (MHA) has renewed its commitment to collaborating with stakeholders to advance the implementation of the Mental Health Act and fully integrate mental health services into general healthcare. 

This comes on the back of recent tragic incidents that underscore systemic deficiencies in mental health care.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, 18 June 2024, the MHA emphasised its dedication to advocacy and integration efforts. 

"We will continue to work with all relevant stakeholders to advocate for further advancements in the Mental Health Act’s implementation at all levels, the complete integration of mental health services into general healthcare services, and a stronger push to educate and raise awareness about mental health," the statement noted.

The MHA has called for support from the government, stakeholders, civil society organisations (CSOs), the private sector, and the public to realise the improvements envisioned by the Act. 

Highlighting Section 73 of the Mental Health Act, the MHA reminded all parties of their specific roles in the care of individuals with mental disorders, including District Assemblies, Social Welfare Services, Security Services, health professionals, family members, and other citizens.

This statement follows two alarming incidents involving individuals with mental health issues. One incident involved a 2-year-old girl who was critically injured after allegedly being assaulted by a person with a mental disorder in a public place. 

“Reports received by the Authority indicate she has been discharged from the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital but requires further outpatient management,” stated the MHA.

The second incident involved a patient suspected of having mental health issues being abandoned in a bush at Gomoa Ojobi in the Central Region after being admitted to the Trauma and Specialist Hospital in Winneba. 

The patient was later found dead by community members.

The MHA commended the Ghana Health Service for initiating a probe into the Gomoa Ojobi incident.

 “The Authority is awaiting the Ghana Health Service’s report on its current investigations and commends the Service for starting a probe,” the statement emphasised.

Expressing deep sympathies to the victims and their families, the MHA acknowledged: “Although extremely saddened, the Authority acknowledges that such incidents reflect the severe systemic flaws that plague the nation’s mental health landscape. “

“They also draw attention to the negative outcomes of stigmatisation, discrimination, and a general lack of concern for those who are thought to suffer from mental health illnesses,” the statement added.

Source: Adiku