Apostle Abbotsi urges pastors to acquire psychiatric knowledge

Accra, Apostle Joseph Abbotsi, a retired Senior Psychiatric Nurse, has said that mental health programmes must be part of the curriculum of the various Bible Colleges in the country to help improve mental health care.

He said the Church was capable of rendering such services; as such, in the quest to train individuals to become ministers of the gospel, they must have some amount of psychiatric knowledge to help manage people who in most cases were depressed or frustrated.

Apostle Abbotsi, who is also the out-going Head Pastor of the New Mamprobi branch of the Lord’s Pentecostal Church International, said even though there were mental health hospitals and psychiatric units, mental disorder should not be left in the hands of only the specialists.

He made this call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), during a retirement service by the Church to honour him for his meritorious and dedicated service.

The service was held in recognition of his immense contributions, selfless devotion to duty and desire to see the Body of Christ grow.

Apostle Abbotsi urged Pastors to emulate the life of Jesus Christ so that they would intend impact positively on their followers.

He further urged them to carefully monitor the flocks God had placed in their care and to support the weak, adding that depression and discouragement could sometimes lead to suicide.

He said despite the fact that there were psychiatric units in the various hospitals in all districts and regions, he had observed that most people do not want to patronise mental health facilities for treatment, an issue he attributed to stigma.

He told GNA that the introduction of the community programmes had been helpful, and believed that the causes of mental illness was from the community hence, the best place to manage such clients should be within the community.

The hospital should just cater for an emergency, in a week or two the person must be brought to the family, and when community staffs are working very well, most of the cases should be managed in the community, he said.

Apostle Abbotsi again called on the Mental Health Authority, politicians and other stakeholders to collaborate with the church in creating more awareness and as well as organise fora where people could congregate and acquire knowledge.

Apostle Dr Richard Buafor, General Overseer of the Lord’s Pentecostal Church International, in an interview with the GNA after the retirement service, said the initiative was to encourage all those who were in active service to sacrifice for the Lord’s work.

He said there was a reward for all the services they were rendering in the Lord’s Vineyard, both on earth here and in the world to come.

He hailed Apostle Abbotsi for combining ministry work and the work of Senior Psychiatric Nurse.

As a Senior Psychiatric Nurse and coupling that with ministry work has not been easy but he endured himself to all of us and I believe to the lord, and will describe him as a faithful servant of the lord who has shown over the years his commitment, his endurance, his love for the members and for the community, he added.

The General Overseer said the Church aims at opening more new branches in across the globe to impact the various communities where they find themselves.

He said over the past 58 years and counting they had established over 130 branches across the world.

Apostle Dr Buafor charged the New Mamprobi branch of the Church and its new leadership to intensify their soul winning drive and to reach out to the youth in particular.

Source: Ghana News Agency