Over 3 Million Ghanaians Battling Mental Health Issues, Coalition Raises Alarm


By: Modupe Adeniyi. Freelance Health Reporter



WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24, 2024. The Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health has raised a grave alarm revealing that more than three million people nationwide are living with various mental health conditions. This staggering statistic has prompted the coalition to call for urgent and collective action from all stakeholders to address this pressing issue.


In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani, Mr. Raphael Godlove Ahenu, the chairman of the Bono Regional chapter of the Coalition, emphasized the need for the government to prioritize mental health and tackle the root causes contributing to the surge in mental health conditions.


"The rising cases of mental health are worrying and alarming and therefore, we call on all stakeholders to pool ideas and resources together and help bring the situation under control," Ahenu said, quoting the coalition's call to action.


Shedding light on the underlying factors, Ahenu highlighted that many mental health conditions can be attributed to emotional problems arising from troubled marriages, broken homes, extreme poverty, sexual exploitation and abuse. "Inwardly, many people are going through emotional trauma," he remarked, underscoring the invisible struggles faced by individuals.


The coalition also expressed deep concern over the rising substance abuse among the youth, warning that if left unchecked, it could lead to an increase in cases of individuals suffering from mental health issues. "If nothing is done, many of the youths would become lunatics," Ahenu cautioned, urging proactive measures to address this growing problem.


Beyond mental health, the coalition raised alarms about the soaring cases of Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) and the associated deaths at major health facilities. Quoting Ahenu, "Studies showed NCDs contributed about 43 percent of deaths nationwide." He attributed the high prevalence of conditions like diabetes and hypertension to poor eating habits, lack of regular exercise and unhealthy lifestyles among many Ghanaians.


In response to these challenges, the coalition plans to undertake health outreach exercises to raise public awareness about substance abuse and alcoholism. They have called for support from the Ghana Health Service and civil society organizations to achieve meaningful outcomes.


Maternal and child mortality were also highlighted as daunting challenges that require urgent attention to help the nation achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 3, which aims to ensure good health and well-being for all by 2030. "Pregnant women should attend regular antenatal and postnatal clinics and endeavor to give birth at health facilities," Ahenu advised.


In support its efforts, the coalition has set up projects and fundraising committees to mobilize funds for its activities in the health sector. They have called for support from corporate bodies, religious organizations and wealthy individuals to join in this vital cause.


Related: Why mental health matters


Source: Ghana News Agency.



Published: April 25, 2024

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