It is illegal to disinherit the mentally challenged - CHRAJ
Nkwanta (V/R), Dec. 22, GNA - Mr Inusah Iddrisu, Public Education and Investigation Officer of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Northern Region, has said it is illegal to disinherit anyone on account mental illness.
He was speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of a Basic Needs Ghana, a mental illness focused non- governmental organization, sponsored workshop.
The workshop was to train some School Health Education Programme (SHEP) Coordinators on common mental health disorders and human rights concerns.
Mr Iddrisu said in the event of a rightful heir experiencing mental illness, the law states that the property or properties of the individual would be held in trust and used to the benefit of the individual.
Mr Iddrisu said such property or properties must revert to the rightful heir in the most likely situation of his or her recovery.
He said Ghana's constitution and Mental Health Bill explicitly protected the mentally sick and the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) have the responsibility to assist roaming mental patients to seek treatment, rehabilitate and reintegrate them into society.
Mr Iddrisu said it is illegal for employers to terminate the appointment of staff deemed to be mentally ill and so was it illegal for landlords to refuse them further tenancy.
He said there is the need for more advocacy work to done to enable people with mental illnesses to get their due regard.
Mr Badimak Peter Yaro, Executive Director of Basic Needs-Ghana, said the NGO was working hard to overturn the stigma associated with mental illness in the country.
He said the NGO was also working to increase access of people with mental illnesses to treatment in the country and this is being done in partnership with other NGOs.
Mr Yaro said Basic Needs Ghana was also in contact with CHRAJ, Gender Women and Children's Ministry and the Social Welfare and Community Development offices and National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) to advance mental health issues.
A total of 30 participants from the five districts of the Volta Region, Krachi-East, Krachi-West, Krachi-Nchumuru, Nkwanta-South and Nkwanta-North attended the two-day workshop.