Thursday, December 24, 2009

Group pushes for Ghana to pass Mental Health Bill

From Ghana News Agency:

ACCRA, Ghana - Mind Freedom Ghana, a civil society group, has called on human rights institutions and civil society organisations to join hands to compel government to enact the Mental Heath Bill.

A statement signed by Mr Dan Taylor, Executive Secretary of the group on Tuesday said: "Anything short of this will see even more 'Anas' revelations in our psychiatric hospitals, prayer camps and communities."

The statement, which started with the background issues of Mr Anas Aremeyaw Anas's investigative report on the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, stated that "the time to act is now for there is a very thin line between mental wellbeing and mental sickness."

It said according to the World Health Orgainsation (WHO), health is a complete state of the physical social and mental well-being of the person and not merely the absence of diseases.

The statement said the 2001 WHO report predicted that within the lifetime of a society, 25 out of every 100 people were bound to suffer from one form of mental illness or another.

It said by that calculation Ghana with an estimated 22 million population would have 220,000 persons with mental illness.

WHO's report according to the statement suggested that by the year 2010, mental illness would become the second largest non communicable disease in the world with as many as 15 million people globally suffering from depression and 121 million others from anxiety and stress related diseases.