The Head of the Mental Health Department at the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Cape Coast, Dr. Paul Ninnorni has indicated that out of the over 2.4 million people living with mental health conditions in Ghana, only 2% have access to mental health care.
He made this revelation during the 20th matriculation and 11th graduation ceremony at the Psychiatric Nurses Training College at Ankaful in the Central Region.
The keynote speaker for the occasion further elaborated that mental health challenges go beyond what we see on the streets or in the hospitals and as such, the challenges related to mental health should be a major concern to everyone.
He urged the graduands to eschew any form of malice but rather, abide by the ethical principles of the profession, keeping the records of their patients highly confidential, taking care of their needs and involving them in their prayers.
Dr. Paul Kukye-Ayiri Ninnoni called on government and other stakeholders to pay close attention to mental health situations in the offices. He said, “there is nothing like human rights when people are left in highly vulnerable states, there is nothing like human rights when people are in chains or shackles so equal need in our workplaces will do a lot to promote mental health”.
A Professor of clinical microbiology and a lecturer at the University of Cape Coast, School of Medical Sciences, Professor Dorcas Obiri-Yeboah called on parents and the general public to stop any form of stigmatizing persons living with mental health challenges.
She said the gap needed in training mental health care practitioners to provide quality mental health services is huge hence the need to create awareness to support the mental health institutions. While that is being done, the Deputy Director of Research, Innovation and Consultancy at the University of Cape Coast called on government to provide more training institutions to accommodate the required demand.
The Principal of the Psychiatric Nurses Training College at Ankaful in the Central Region, Mr. Simon Kwesi Dogedoung expressed his profound gratitude to all stakeholders and government for their support in the training of mental health nurses.
He urged on government through the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health to increase the quota of intake. According to him although they had over 800 applications, the training college was only permitted to admit a total of about 350 students.