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Stop Stigmatizing People with Mental Illness– Dr Zanetor urges

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Korley-Klottey Constituency, Hon (Dr) Zanetor Agyemang-Rawlings, has urged Ghanaians to seized the stigmatization against persons with mental illness.

According to her, mental illness is curable and affected persons should not be treated as outcast in society but rather be seen as victims which needed help from the general public to live.

Dr Zanetor made the called when she joined the Accra Psychiatric Hospital on its opening day to mark the ‘World Mental Health Day’ in Accra on Wednesday this week.

She said when we make people feel like there’s something odd/shameful about having a mental health issue, we make it hard for them to admit they need help.

When people don’t talk about mental illness (or whisper it like it’s dirty word) it makes people feel like it’s uncommon or something to be ashamed of. Stigma isolates, but community and connection can be an important part of healing. We need to know our people are out there. We need to visit them, help them with what they needed most,” she stated.

Because of some lame comments from people who are experiencing psychiatric effects, many people including family members start disassociating themselves with the persons and made him or her isolated.
To that effect, the Klottey Korley MP said, stigmatising mental health is not good, and there should be more collaboration with the general public, corporate entities, as well as the government to solve this issue.”

There have been mental laws but the government upon government failed to enforce it to the letter, while funding also remained another factor if which mental health facilities remained in poor and dilapidated.

But Dr Zenator, gave the assurance that she would take the advocacy to Parliament to deliberate on the Legislative Instrument (LI) on the Mental Health when it resumes from recess.

She noted that, the LI would among of other things help to address some of the peculiar problems in the delivery of mental healthcare in the country.

To the Psychiatric Hospital and the inmates, the MP donated assorted items such as toiletries, adult diapers, food provisions, and many others.

She said the hospital needs more than physical infrastructural support and called on government to listen to the plight of the Hospital,stating, “The staff here work under dangerous conditions, and there is a need for them to get what they need to work efficiently in their units.”
Despite the daunting challenges facing the mental facility, Dr Zanetor urged the working staff to ensure that the services they render should be of high quality to meet the international standards of mental patients.
On his part, Dr Bernard Oko Boye, MP for Ledzokuku said Ghanaians ought to rather empathize with mental patients for their conditions rather needed support from families and friend.
He also assured to raise the LI matter in parliament to ensure that mental healthcare in the country is improved.

Dr. Panaman Appau, Hospital Director of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, who received the items on behalf of the institution, thanked the organisations for the gestures.
She appealed to other organisations and individuals to come to the aid of the facilities, especially to patients whose families have neglected them.

Other organisations including Friends of Mental Health and Accra City Hotel donated items like mattresses, food, toiletries, wheelchairs and other medical equipment.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Nyaaba

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