Mental Health Authority to move mental health patients from the streets

The Authority is working out modalities to move out all patients with mental health disorders in the country from the streets, for medical care, Mr Joseph Yere, the Bono Regional Coordinator of Mental Health has hinted.

He said the Authority presented a budget and hoped the government would approve it for funds to be released in that regard.

“No person with mental health condition must be allowed to walk and cause nuisance on the streets,” Mr Yere said in an interview with the (GNA) on the sidelines of a stakeholder's engagement meeting in and urged caregivers to forebear and support patients to access medication.

The Sunyani-based MIHOSO International Foundation, an working to improve the conditions of vulnerable people, particularly, women, children and girls organised the meeting to collate views for the formulation of its five-year strategic plan.

It was attended by health workers, traditional authorities, , actors and some heads of Departments and Agencies.

Mr Yere expressed worry about the wrong public perception and myths about mental health, saying it was untrue that mental health conditions were linked to witchcraft, wizardry, or family curse.

He said although mental health conditions could be hereditary or genetic, marital problems, substance abuse, stress, economic hardships, and divorce remained some major contributory factors.

Mr Yere commended MIHOSO for its commitment and continuous support towards providing care and financial assistance for patients to access medication and improving their socio-economic livelihoods too.

He said public stigmatization and discrimination of people with mental health conditions in the region had gone down due to intensified public education and called for societal support towards providing patients with medical care and improving conditions at the mental health units at various health facilities.

Established in 2002, Dr Gabriel Gbiel Benarkuu, the Chief Executive Officer, MIHOSO International, explained the foundation now had offices in and the and had made significant impact in the health sector in the country.

He acknowledged and recognized the foundation's partnership with BasicNeeds Ghana, another NGO and all relevant stakeholders in its activities towards improving the general wellbeing of the vulnerable people in society.

Dr Benarkuu said the foundation had shifted focus, after working in the humanitarian service sector for close to 20 years, however, expressed the optimism that its collaboration, particularly, with traditional authorities and District and Municipal Assemblies would be strengthened.

In a highlight, Mr Thomas Benarkuu, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer, MIHOSO explained the foundation's 10-year strategic plan had expired, paving the way for another five-year strategic plan.

He said the five-year strategic plan hinged on five pillars including, agriculture, social services, physical infrastructure development and logistical provisions, saying the foundation intended to engage in commercial and cultivation of cash crops of mango and cashew as well as supporting agri-businesses and cooperative groups too.

Nana Kwaku Saben II, the Acting President of the Sunyani Traditional Council also commended MIHOSO for their contributions in the mental health sector and promised the council's readiness to release lands for the NGO for its agricultural services.

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