HRAC empowers nurses on rights-based approach to mental healthcare

Ejisu-Krapa (Ash) A day’s Trainer of Trainer’s workshop on Rights-Based approach to mental healthcare for Community Psychiatric and General Nurses from five selected districts in the Ashanti Region, has been held at Ejisu-Krapa in the Ashanti Region.

The event, put together by Rights Advocacy Centre (HRAC) in collaboration with MindFreedom Ghana (MFGh) and the Mental Health Authority, is part of the STAR-Coalition on mental healthcare.

It is also linked with STAR-Ghana’s project implementation on promoting quality access to mental healthcare and rights for persons with mental disabilities in traditional mental health centres in Ghana.

STAR-Ghana, is providing the funding.

The 22 Community Psychiatric Nurses and five General Nurses participating in the workshop are from one Metropolis and four Districts namely; the Sekyere East, Ejisu, Bosomtwe, Kwabre and Kumasi.

Components of the training included understanding human rights from national and international perspective, protecting the rights of persons with mental disabilities, mental health law and guidelines as well as understanding stigmatization and discrimination.

Ms Cynthia Nimo-Ampredu, the Executive Director of HRAC, addressing the workshop, said the event aimed at improving participants’ understanding of human rights especially with relation to mental healthcare of persons living with mental disabilities as well as empower the health professionals to provide human rights-centered services to their clients.

She said the overall objective was to impact human rights-friendly work culture among mental health care givers, whiles also promoting and protecting the rights of persons with mental health conditions, within traditional and faith-based healing centres.

Our focus is also to improve participants’ understanding of their legal responsibilities. We are not only advocating and working towards human-rights-based mental healthcare for development alone, but are also augmenting the protection and sustainability of the dignity of all persons on the planet earth, the Executive Director noted.

Ms. Nimo-Ampredu said the selection of the participating districts, was based on their proximity to each other to help facilitate effective intra monitoring, evaluation and coordination.

We intend to expand the project to all districts across the Region when we are able to secure the requisite funding, she noted.

The Executive Director urged the government to effectively enforce the mental health guidelines, to sanitize the work of traditional and faith-based mental health facilities, whiles also advocating the integration of the mental healthcare into the mainstream healthcare delivery particularly in the rural and poverty-prone areas.

Mr Nii Lartey Addico, the Co-Director of MFGh, called for stakeholders’ collaboration to curtail stigmatization in the sector by strengthening efforts at continuous education, sensitization and engagement with community members and the public.

Ms Faustina Nuako, the Ashanti Regional Mental Health Coordinator, commended HRAC, MFGh, and partners for the capacity building which was buttressing government’s responsibility in managing the healthcare of persons living with mental disabilities.

She urged nurses and all health officials attending to patients seeking mental healthcare to uphold professionalism and cautiousness in order to maintain and sustain the dignity and human rights of such persons.

Source: Ghana News Agency