MindFreedom Ghana, a leading mental health advocacy organization in the country has congratulated Mrs Janet Naa Karley Amegatcher on her appointment as a Member of the Governing Board of Mental Health Authority.
Mrs Amegatcher is a prominent lawyer and also serves as the Director of MindFreedom Ghana.
“Congratulation to Mrs Janet Amegatcher, our organization’s Director on her appointment as a member of the newly inaugurated 11-Member Governing Board of Mental Health Authority,” states, Mr Dan Taylor, Executive Secretary of MindFreedom Ghana.
The Mental Health Authority has the mandate, per the Act, to propose mental health policies to the Ministry of Health and thereafter implement same; to ensure the establishment of very high-quality mental health care accessible to all, affordable, and culturally sensitive.
“We pledge our support and encouragement for you to discharge your duties diligently and assiduously,” Mr Taylor added in a statement copied to Public Agenda.
The organization believes that Mrs Amegatcher’s vast knowledge of Law and mental health advocacy would help in proposing robust policies for the Health Ministry.
The Board was inaugurated in Accra last Friday by Minister for Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu. Mr Agyeman-Manu charged the board to help increase advocacy and solicit for public support to augment the government’s provision to improve on mental healthcare in the country and the mental health of the population.
“Lack of adequate resources has put the authority in so much distress and It’s about time we upped our game by doing a lot more advocacy to see how we can attract sympathy towards the work we do for people to come on board to support us. I pass through Pantang Hospital from time to time and I feel ashamed anytime I get there. I wish the facility could be improved but we don’t seem to have the resources to do that.
“Service delivery is challenged, particularly because the sector doesn’t generate internally generated fund (IGF) and because of that, we can’t build, we can’t buy equipment, we can’t give drugs, we can’t feed our patients, and cannot pay for anything, and that is becoming a problem,” he said.
He added that the ministry was making efforts to facilitate the inclusion of mental healthcare services on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) since that was the only way the sector could find resources to support the management of patients.
On his part , the Chief Executive Officer of the MHA, Prof. Akwasi Osei, said the over 10 years delay in instituting the Mental Health Levy, after the passage of the Mental Health Act 846, of 2012, was affecting service delivery in the sector.
“The law runs on the establishment of the Mental Health Levy and until we get that, we won’t have the full benefit of it”, he said.
He said it was the levy that would provide the required funding for the full and effective implementation of the sector.
Members of the board include the Chief Executive Officer of the MHA, Prof. Akwasi Owusu-Osei; the Deputy Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Anthony Adofo Ofosu, and a representative from the Ministry of Interior, Mr Kwasi Assan-Brew.
Others are, the Head of the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Ghana School of Medicine, Professor Angela Ofori Attah; a representative from the Office of the Attorney General, Mrs Evelyn Daawee-Keelson; a legal practitioner, Mrs Janet Naa Karley Amegatcher, and the Director of Budgeting at the Policy Planning Monitoring and Evaluation of the Ministry of Health, Mr Emmanuel Owusu-Ansah.
MindFreedom Ghana is directed towards improving the mental health and lives of users and survivors of psychiatry in Ghana as well as promoting their human rights.
MindFreedom Ghana supports and assists persons with psychosocial disorders in their treatment regimen and further advocates for conditions that would not infringe on their human rights and dignity anywhere; seeks to improve upon the social, moral, and economic conditions of those with psychosocial disabilities and survivors and deal with the stigma they suffer; promotes activities that make persons with mental disabilities have a sense of belonging and acceptance in their communities; engage in activities to sensitize and educate the public on matters of mental disabilities and human right.
By: Mohammed Suleman/Publicagendagh.com