Lets all Take Care of our Mental Health.
Mental illness remains one of the leading causes of disability, but we don’t take it serious because it does not kill, directly.
The nation (Ghana) as it stands now has about 10% of the entire population suffering from various forms of mental illness, thus, over three million people are suffering from various forms of mental illness, with two million of them being mild and one million of being severe.
Currently, there are over 300,000 mentally challenged people who are homeless and are roaming on our streets (vagrant), a situation which is unpleasant to consider.
The nation spends only 1.4% of its total health budget on Mental Health, which is bad, hence the need to rethink about this, and how best we can come together to bridge this gap.
Are we not paying particular attention because mental illness isn’t killing us directly ?Fact is, what it does, is more devastating than even killing us directly.
When a person gets challenged mentally, the effects are dire, as the individual is at risk of harming himself/herself, the family, community, as well as the entire nation.
It’s about time we allocate resources to support the mentally ill, as well as the prevention of mental illness and the promotion of mental health. The mentally challenged are not different from other people who are suffering from other medical conditions. Mental Illness is not a curse. Mentally challenged patients must not be neglected. They equally deserve our love and care.
They need our support just as any one suffering from any other medical condition like malaria also needs support. They need to be cared for just as we care for people with other diseases. We need to pay attention to mental health issues as a community, district, region and a country at large.
There is nothing like tomorrow or late. It is NOW. We all have a responsibility to give our utmost support. It’s time to rethink about MENTAL HEALTH.
Let’s do it together….. !
Ashiley Nii AYITEY
[Mental Health Advocate/Member, Consummate Health Foundation].