In commemoration of Mental Health Day, Dr Badimak Yaro, Executive Director of BasicNeeds Ghana has supported calls by the Chief Executive of the Mental Health Authority for adequate funding of the sector.
Dr Akwasi Osei, CEO of Mental Health Authority estimates that the authority requires at least GHS30 million cedis from the government to adequately run but it receives far less than that to run the authority and the psychiatric hospitals under it and cater for medications the sector requires.
Speaking during an interview on TV3 on Monday, October 10, Dr Badimark Yaro reiterated the need for the sector to get the needed support.
“Funding is the life wire of every endeavour to resources the sector and Dr Akwasi Osei’s issues about the Mental Health funding situation is not far from the truth as it is woefully inadequate and the issue of financing is a real headache for the sector,” he explained.
On whether Ghana is on course to reach the global standards on mental healthcare, Dr Yaro said “we are far from reaching such standards if you compare it to other sectors as most district hospitals do not have a Mental Health Unit and even if they have it is being run down and in an obscure corner where you would hardly find the unit and getting the right staff to man the unit is challenged as well”.
“We should not forget that we need trained staff to head those units in the hospitals and even if we cannot build a whole mental health hospital we should at least have a mental health unit in the hospitals,” Dr Yaro.
He said as the world commemorates this day, the government should not renege in its efforts to support the mental health sector since without much government support and sensitization the stigma associated with mental health issues cannot be dealt with.