U/E Regional Mental Health Coordinator Calls For Mental Health Attention

The Upper East Regional Mental Health Coordinator, Edem Amegla Quarshie has underscored the need for government and other stakeholders to pay attention to mental health issues in this era of COVID 19.

Given how much COVID-19 has reduced contact with the outside world for many it affects what we want to do, where we want to do it and who we want to be with. It’s natural for us to feel stress, anxiety, and loneliness under these circumstances.

Meanwhile, the supply of psychotropic medicines has been a national challenge especially during this pandemic where there is a cut in the supply chain. Speaking exclusively to GBC URA Radio, Mr. Amegla acknowledged Basic Needs Ghana and commended the Member of Parliament for Talensi as well as a number of municipal and district assemblies in the Upper East Region that have been supporting the Mental Health Units in.

He called on other Members of Parliament in the region as well as the Assemblies to devote a portion of the 3% District Assembly Common Fund to support persons with mental illness.

The mental health sector in Ghana hugely adopts the pharmacological method of managing mental illness due to the lack of personnel and resources for psychosocial therapies and rehabilitation.

In managing these patients, psychotropic medications are mostly employed, and since most of these conditions are chronic cases, the medications are consumed for prolonged periods of time.

He encouraged the general public to continually observe the preventive etiquettes and take steps to reduce stressor as we strive to cope with the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the increasing dependence on technology and social media has been the very thing to help many fends off loneliness during the COVID-19 outbreak. Mr. Quarshie indicated that the use of technology to stay in touch with co-workers, friends, and relatives might improve one’s mental health.

He, however, cautioned that the consumption of fake news from online portals can cause depression and anxiety that will have a detrimental effect on one’s mental health.

Mr. Quarshie underscored the need for psychological support and proper time management to reduce stressors that can suppress the immune system in this time of the pandemic. In Ghana, about thirteen percent of the adult population is estimated to be affected by mental health disorders of varying forms.

The mental health sector in Ghana hugely adopts the pharmacological method of managing mental illness due to the lack of personnel and resources for psychosocial therapies and rehabilitation.

Primarily, this involves the use of medicines, suitably referred to as psychotropic medications in sustaining patients. But the treatment gap is 98% of the total population expected to have a mental disorder. We need to take personal responsibility for our mental health.

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