The Ghana Mental Health Coalition (GHAMEC) is demanding of government to as a matter of importance induct a Mental Health Board to ensure proper and effective performance of the Mental Health Authority as stipulated in the Mental Health Law.
The tenure of the last Board expired in 2016 and more than one year down the line, there has not been a board in place.
According to GHAMEC, the delayed composition of the Board is affecting the operations of the Mental Health Authority.
Speaking to Public Agenda after a meeting held in Accra recently to deliberate on activities intended to be undertaken by the coalition this year, Mr Humphrey Matey Kofi, Country Facilitator of GHAMEC emphasized the need for the inauguration of the board as it will help in facilitating the work of the Authority. He insisted however that a service user should be appointed as a member of the board. A User is a person who has suffered mental health before.
He explained that the inauguration of the board is a requirement per section 4 (1) of the mental health law, which cannot be overlooked.
Mr Kofie also bemoaned the persistent shortages of psychotropic medicines in the system in spite of fact that budgetary allocations are made for the procurement of such drugs.
”It was announced in the budget but the shortage is still running if indeed it has been captured in the budget, why are we not receiving it?”He quizzed.
Mr Kofie further mentioned the need to integrate the metal health service into the general health system. Where the lowest facility for health delivery in Ghana would have access to mental health service.
Other issues discussed included the urgent need for the passage of the Legislative Instrument (LI) on Ghana’s Mental Health.
The passage of the LI, according to GHAMEC, would ensure the effective implementation of the law. The country’s Mental Health Bill was passed in 2012 but lacks the necessary LI for its smooth implementation to help remove human rights barriers surrounding the treatment of mental health patience.
Mental Health Leadership And Advocacy Programme (mhLAP) is now known as Ghana Mental Health Coalition (GHAMEC)
By Mohammed Suleman