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21.03.2015 Health

MMDAs urged to mainstream Mental Health Issues

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Upper East , March 21, GNA - Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) have been urged to mainstream Mental Health Issues into Medium Term Development Plans to help address mental health challenges.

Members of the Upper East Regional Alliance for Mental Health and Development, who made the call during its first quarterly meeting held in Bolgatanga on Friday, stressed that, per the Mental Health Act, the MMDAs were expected to play a key role in providing resources to help address issues relating to mental health.

Whilst commending the efforts of some few MMDAs for mainstreaming mental issues into their Medium Term Development Plan, they stressed the need for them to ensure effective implementation to achieve good results.

The Alliance also lamented that mental health and epilepsy patients have not been benefiting from the Disability Common Fund, and that, they were supposed to benefit from it to enable them to address their needs including the purchasing of drugs and to undertake advocacy programmes.

Among some of the success chalked by the Alliance, include the holding of the World Mental Health Day, sensitization programmes on radio and an engagement with the Media, among others.

Mr Philip Aboagye, the Acting Regional Coordinating of the Ghana Health Service, in charge of Mental Health, disclosed that, under the operation clear the street, initiated by the Ghana Health Service, some mental health patients were taken off the streets and attended to.

He said the 13 Districts in the region now have mental health units, attending to mental health and epilepsy patients and expressed the hope that with time, the problems confronting mental health would be reduced.

He mentioned the lack of transportation and fuel as some of the problems affecting health delivery and said his outfit was in consultation with the National Health Insurance Scheme to address the issue of lack of medicines for the patients.

Mr Bernard Azure, the Regional Coordinator of Basic Needs Ghana, lauded the efforts of the Alliance for promoting mental health and urged them to remain committed to the cause.

He called on the members to endeavour to issue reports on the activities they embark upon to enable them to have quarterly composite reports.

The Alliance, which is made up of governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations include the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development, the National Commission for Civic Education, the Ghana Health Service, the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit, the Media, among others, is currently funded by Basic Needs Ghana, an NGO in Mental Health.


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