“Let’s ignite talks on mental illness” – Psychiatrist

Accra Dr Susan Seffah, a Psychiatrist at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, has called on stakeholders in the health sector to increase awareness, and advocacy on mental illness conditions.

She said the illness did not receive adequate publicity and awareness on its signs and treatment as compared to other health related problems.

He said, “There should be more education out there so that mental illness can be easily identified and treated”.

She made the remarks at a capacity building workshop for mental health nurses, in the Greater Accra Region, by BasicNeeds Ghana, a non-governmental organisation championing mental health care.

The participants numbering 40 were taken through how to undertake psychiatric assessment, concept of diagnosis, establishing therapeutic relationship and appropriate use of medications on patients.

Dr Seffah, said it was to help participants to acquire knowledge on basic handling of mental health related diagnosis at first hand, except on cases of its severity that should be handled by a psychiatrist.

She said it was important for health practitioners to be trained in managing mental health treatment to be able to administer basic treatment and medications, since there were less specialised centres and psychiatrists in the country.

She called for government’s support in the sector especially in subsidising cost of medication and treatment.

Mr Anaba Sunday Atua, Projects Officer of BasicNeeds Ghana, said the training was to equip the nurses with necessary knowledge and skills to bridge the gap of the ratio of psychiatric to patient.

“We intend to build them up to handle to be able to offer basic prescriptions to mental health patients before their referrals to specialised psychiatric,” he said.

He said the programme was part of a larger project of the organisation towards enhancing maternal mental health of pregnant women, lactating mothers and their children.

Source: Ghana News Agency