Government urged to include mental health education in school curriculum

Tamale Reverend Aaron Prosper Kuubagr, a Clinical Psychologist at the Total Life Enhancement Centre Ghana (TOLEC GH), has called on government to include mental health education in the school’s curriculum to help broaden students’ awareness on mental health issues.

He said suicide, which is caused by mental health problems, was becoming rampant among the youth, especially students, and proposed the need for government to incorporate mental health education into basic and secondary school curricular to help prevent the problem.

He made the call at an event in Tamale to mark this year’s World Mental Health Day Celebration, themed; Working to Prevent Suicide, A Call for National Action.

The event, attended by some students and health workers in the Tamale Metropolis, was organized by TOLEC GH in collaboration with the Mental Health Advocacy Foundation (MHAF) and the Ghana Psychologists Association (GPA).

Reverend Kuubagr said students lack the knowledge on mental health issues which can lead to suicide, so there is the need for government to prioritize it and make it part of the school’s curriculum to increase students understanding on the need to prevent suicide.

The government needs to have enough trained professionals in the area of mental health in health facilities, so that they can help people overcome psychological stress to help reduce cases of suicide in the country, he added.

Mr Peter Mintir Amadu, the Executive Director of TOLEC GH, indicated that suicide was the second leading cause of death in the country, and mostly among men between the ages of 15 to 29.

He therefore, urged traditional and religious authorities as well as other stakeholders to be advocates for the prevention of suicide among members of the public to enable them contribute to the productive workforce in the country.

He appealed to policy makers to develop measures to help safeguard people with suicidal ideas and break stigmatization and discrimination of such people for social inclusion.

Mr Mintir Amadu encouraged media personnel to desist from sensational nature of reporting on suicide cases, saying; do not thrive on sensationalism when reporting issues of suicide but rather provide stories of hope.

Mr Mumuni Fuseini, Northern Regional Mental Health Coordinator, advised the youth to stop substance abuse, which led to mental health disorders and other physical health problems.

Mr Chris Ayinbila, a student of the St Charles Senior High School in Tamale, who participated in the event, told the Ghana News Agency that they had been enlightened on mental health issues and suicide prevention measures, and would be advocates for suicide prevention among the youth in their communities.

Source: Ghana News Agency