Mental disorders and depression are the leading cause of suicide in the country, Dr Akwasi Osei, Acting Chief Executive Officer Mental Health Authority said on Monday.
He said the illness contributed 90 per cent of all cases of suicide recorded every year and appealed to the general public to help patients to visit and to seek medication at the various psychiatric facilities.
Dr Osei was speaking at a workshop on dissemination of key provision of the Mental Health Law (ACT 846) in Sunyani, organised by Mission of Hope Society International (MIHOSO) and Basic Needs Ghana, Non-governmental Organisations.
It was attended by District Directors of Health Services, Civil Society Organisations, Municipal and District Assemblies and other health staff.
Dr Osei noted that though the Mental Health Act (846) was however promulgated, stigmatization and discrimination of patients and health workers was rife and a collective but holistic approach was needed to address the challenge.
He observed that instead of sending their children with mental disorders to the psychiatric facilities, some parents and families rather hide them in their homes, stressing that such situation thwart efforts by the government in confining patients for medication.
Dr Osei expressed the worry that people with mental disabilities went through all forms of abuses and injustice, stressing that with the passage of the Mental Health Act 846 any person or group who trampled on the rights of patients committed serious offence.
Mr Gabriel Gbiel Benarkuu, Chief Executive Officer of MIHOSO explained under its mental health project, the NGO had adopted and providing medication as well as employable skills to thousands of people with mental disorders in the region.
He said mental ilness could be cured if patients strictly adhered to medication and appealed to parents and relatives to guide and encourage them to take their drugs.
Mr Joseph Yeli, Coordinator, Community Psychiatric in Brong-Ahafo said he had observed that mental illness had seen drastic decline in the region.
He said the region recorded 595 cases in 2013 as against 947 cases in 2012, 1,147 cases 2011, and 1,562 cases in 2010.
Mr Yeli however, indicated that fatality rate remained low and commended MIHOSO contribution in providing mental health service delivery in the region.
He appealed to the various District Health Directorates to embrace and support community psychiatric nurses posted to their districts.
Mr Yeli mentioned lack of modern drugs and logistics as the main problems in the various health facilities in the region which offered mental health service delivery.