Sunyani, April 27, GNA - Dr Catejan Jones-Techie, Head of the Psychiatric Unit at the Brong-Ahafo Regional Hospital, has said the stigma and discrimination against mental patients in the Region has reduced.
He said the reduction is as a result of effective collaboration between staff at the referral centers and community mental health officers at the various districts.
Dr Jones-Techie who is the Deputy Director, Clinical Care at the regional hospital, said this at a stakeholder's consultative meeting on mental health services in Sunyani.
The Brong-Ahafo branch of the Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (BANGO) organised the meeting to sensitize participants on the Association's two year mental health project for the region.
The 150,000 US dollars project, aimed at among others to ensure that mental patients in Brong-Ahafo Region gain access to quality health care delivery, is being sponsored by Star-Ghana, an NGO.
Dr Jones-Techie said currently mental health services are being undertaken in eight districts in the region while plans are far advanced for the establishment of more in the remaining districts.
He said North Municipal, Techiman Municipal, Sunyani Municipal, Berekum Municipal, Asunafo North Municipal as well as Tano South District, Jaman South District and Dormaa West Districts were areas where mental health services are currently available.
Dr Jones appealed to parents with mentally challenged children not to hide them in homes but send them for medication at the established centers.
He said the centers rendered a multiplicity of mental health services such as in-patient, out-patient and psychological services.
Dr Jones-Techie also expressed concern about limited infrastructure development at the various psychiatric facilities in the country and appealed to Government and NGOs for support.
Mr Raphael Godlove Ahenu, the Regional Secretary of BANGO, called on government to ensure that a Legislative Instrument (LI) was put in place for the implementation of the Mental Health Law.
He said without the LI, the law would have no significant meaning on mental health services.
Mr Ahenu entreated the general public to support the project by ensuring that mental patients gain access to regular assistance and medication in their communities. GNA