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Ghanaians suffering from ‘mental health inflation’ - Psychological Association

Ghanaians are only suffering from inflation, but mental health inflation as well, the

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He said recent media reports on deviant behaviour and behavioural addictions by the youth, including rioting in the country, attested to the fact that all was not well.

“There is certainly a mental health inflation in Ghana. The young, the middle-aged, the near retiree, the aged and all of us continue to face one mental health-related challenge or the other.

“Haven’t we heard of behavioural addiction taking over our tertiary institutions, especially students engaging grossly in pornographic addiction, betting and gambling, and getting addicted to excessive use of social media?

“What about other issues such as rape and rioting by students. Indeed, one can say there is a problem,” Dr Badu added.

He, therefore, called on policy makers to prioritise mental health issues which he described as having been woefully neglected.

“Imagine the mental health of security agents or some personnel in the security services; if it is compromised, what happens to us?

“Are we not sure that perhaps the mental health challenges some of our drivers face could be one of the reasons that road crashes are happening?” he quizzed.

Dr Badu was speaking at the launch of the Ghana Psychology Week celebration in Accra yesterday, on the theme: “Scaling up psychology and its practice in the post-pandemic future: Reaching out to the vulnerable.” It was the third of its kind by the association.

He also called on the general public to encourage people with psychological problems to seek help.

“If you are living in a community and you see someone unusually quiet and keeping indoors, do not hesitate to suggest to them to seek help. If you also hear someone singing ‘m’abre wo wiase’ to wit - I am tired in life, and ‘m’awu ooo’ - I am dead, among others, it may be a sign that such people are feeling helpless and hopeless.

Even if you have nothing to offer, just lend them your ears by listening and understanding their pain,” he advised.

Dr Badu further said that the association would prioritise research into some of the burning issues in the country to enable them to understand the psychological underpinnings and proffer suggestions to policy makers, organisations and institutions.

“We want to understand how corruption starts, what we can do to be able to change the mindset of people so that we will be able to reverse some of these negative tendencies in society,” he added.

The Deputy Director of Health Promotion at the Mental Health Authority, Dr Yaw Amankwa Arthur, urged the association to let some of its members support in counselling students.

He commended the association for always rising to the occasion during disaster situations in the country, citing a recent Kumasi fire disaster, the Appiatse explosion and the Apam drowning incident.

The planning committee chairman of the association, Dr May Cullen Wulff-Caesar, mentioned some of the activities lined up for the week-long celebration to include a health walk, a visit to the orthopaedic centre at Nsawam, an orphanage, social engagement with communities where they would engage people and an annual general meeting to elect new officers.

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