Treat mental health with a collective approach – Global Media Foundation CEO

The Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sunyani-based Global Media Foundation (GLOMEF), Raphael Godlove Ahenu, has re-echoed the need to treat mental health with a collective approach.

He stated that the observance of World Mental Health Day should be a reminder that mental health has become a growing concern in Ghana, so stakeholders must get all hands on deck to deal with the situation.

Speaking to JoyNews on World Mental Health Day at Sunyani in the Bono region, Mr Ahenu said it is crucial to encourage mental health programmes in schools across the country to prevent self-inflicting behaviour among students.

He said current statistics from the Ghana Mental Health Association and World Health Organization (WHO) suggest an estimated 3.1 million Ghanaians, representing 10 percent of the estimated 31 million total population, have a form of mental disorder, with about 16,000 cases reported to be severe.

Again, the 2021 statistics from the Ghana Statistical Service indicate that about 20,000 mentally ill persons roam the streets nationwide, with 1,600 reported to be in Accra and Tema alone.

‘‘That is the more reason the programmes should provide essential tools for coping with stress, anxiety, and emotional challenges,’’ the CEO of GLOMEF added.

The human rights crusader suggested that the initiatives could promote emotional resilience, encourage open dialogue and demonstrate coping mechanisms and interpersonal relationships.

He said it is also crucial to practice physical activities and hobbies to promote a balanced lifestyle that includes proper sleep and nutrition while keeping social media under control.

‘‘Integration of mental health awareness into the curriculum for schools’ in Ghana will equip students with the necessary tools not just for academic success but for effectively navigating life’s complexities,’’ Mr Ahenu stressed.

He further explained that ”qualified, emotional and mental health counsellors, must be employed to design tailor-made practical programmes to address the specific needs of different grade levels and individual students to ensure their well-being.”

He said identifying those who need personal counselling with the collaborative support of counsellors, parents, and teachers is also vital to dealing with mental health issue in schools.

Mr Ahenu recommended that schools encourage students to learn how to manage themselves independently, mindfully communicate and comprehend by listening effectively, respond rather than react, manage mental hygiene, and manage their anger.

‘‘Organising workshops for parents on mental health issues while encouraging their active participation in shaping the behaviour and personality of the children will further enrich the developmental process,’’ he emphasised.

Leave A Comment

Open chat
Can we help you?