Views: 322 Ishmael A. Junourgh, Accra, Oct 11, 2019, 7;00am, Fri The Ghana Mental Health Authority has observed the 20019 Global Mental Health Week in...
Ishmael A. Junourgh, Accra, Oct 11, 2019, 7;00am, Fri
The Ghana Mental Health Authority has observed the 20019 Global Mental Health Week in Accra today (10/10/19)
The global occasion for this year was under the theme: “Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention.”
In a speech by the CEO of Ghana Mental Health Authority, Dr. Akwasi Osei , he noted that these days most victims of suicide were the youth and children, and that was why last year’s (2018) theme for the event was: “Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World.’
But, in Ghana, the Criminal Offenses Act says attempted suicide is a misdemeanor.
To this end, the Mental Health CEO said “attempted suicide is often a sign of depression or some other form of mental illness and a cry for help.”
And invariably suicides cases could be as high as that of mental health in the country because both factors were closely related.
He said the strongest risk factor for suicide was “a previous suicide attempt.”
According to him, the data for five years ago stands at 1500 deaths per annum through suicide. Most of them, 60% were women and 35% were students.
“In one month when we tracked the calls for help against suicide, by one single line alone, we had 45 calls from people ranging from 18 to 35 years, most of them from relationship problems, socio-economic problems and pre-existing mental health challenges.”
He said suicide rate were also high among vulnerable groups who experienced discrimination, such as refugees and migrants; indigenous people; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBT) persons and prisoners.
He said it was all time high to get people talking about the canker which most people, however, thought a taboo— a mistaken and prejudiced ideas though.
He stated activities of the Ghana Mental Health Authority to create the awareness to reduce both mental health disorders and they are as follow: awareness creation throughout its offices across the country, television program on the awareness creation, press briefings, and health walks.