Specialist Psychiatrist and Clinical Coordinator at Pantang Hospital, has defended the community support systems made available for persons who are discharged from mental health facilities.

Dr. Leveana Gyimah said in principle, the country has made adequate provision to ensure that persons discharged from mental health facilities neither relapse nor get stigmatised. 

She told the host of the Super Morning Show on Joy Fm that mental hospitals in the country do well to ensure that the patients discharged are linked up with the community nurse in their locality as well as their families, to facilitate proper integration. 

More than that they also ensure that the patient is in touch with the social welfare department of the community and the District Assembly. 

Aside from being given an appointment to report back to the main hospital should there be a relapse, the health professionals also go a step further to educate the immediate associates of the patient that mental health is not contagious. 

In the latest Joy News hotline documentary, Minds to Mind, a mental health patient roamed the streets of the city with her pregnancy for nine months until the very day she reportedly gave birth.

Being separated from her baby boy for obvious reasons, it was rather an emotional state as she wrestled with health professionals to catch a glimpse of the baby.  

Being denied the privilege of living with this baby, she made frantic efforts to escape from the hospital. Her family had long parted ways with her.  

Mental health is generally viewed as being in a porous state in Ghana as facilities, including staff, are stretched to breaking limits, a position Dr. Leaveana Gyimah concedes to.  

The challenge, she attributes to the nature of mental health system practice in Ghana.  

She argued that the subvented nature of the services affects the quality of service delivery when sponsors of the programme fail to meet their financial obligations. 

This invariably compels health officials to surcharge relatives of patience and the social welfare who bring in clients to the hospital.