The Ketu South Municipal Health Directorate, in collaboration with a German NGO, On The Move.eV., have organized a 3-day training workshop for mental health professionals, religious leaders, and traditionalists in the Municipality. 

Country Director for On The Move.eV., Dr. Rick Wulthesen, urged families not to wholly depend on traditional and faith healers when a mental health problem is identified.

According to Dr. Rick Wulthesen, treatment of mental health conditions should be a collaborative work between faith healers, traditional healers, and health professionals.

Dr. Rick Wulthesen noted that the major challenge faced by the team is the stigmatization of people with mental illness. However, he is hopeful that with more workshops and community sensitization, the issue with stigma will be a thing of the past.  

Dr. Rick Wulthesen also noted that the NGO was aiming at expanding to other districts and regions of the country to enable others to benefit from them.

Dr. Wulthesen lamented the limited availability of data on mental health patients in the Municipality.

He noted that the health directorate is able to provide them with data but the number of mental health patients in the various communities who have not been counted or not known is worrying. 

“We are partnering with a Kenya University and University of Ghana as well as German universities for exchange programs for students to broaden their knowledge on mental health,” he said 

Speaking with Journalists, the Municipal Health Director, Joseph Degle, noted that the program dubbed the brain spirit desk is a very holistic and good religious/traditional based mental health intervention which when properly implemented will bridge the gap between orthodox medicine and traditional methods for prevention, care treatment, and management of mental health clients. 

Mr Joseph Degle noted that the brain spirit desk is recognized as one solution to overcome the lack of collaboration between spiritual leaders and mental health professionals.

Mr Degle noted that mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood to adulthood. 

Volta Regional Mental Health Coordinator, Courage Dzade, who took the participants through the introduction of biopsychosocial view of mental health, social determinants said it is worrying for health professionals to see patients not willing to seek proper medical treatment because of their faith and traditional healers.

Mr Courage Dzade urged families with mental health patients to as much as possible combine faith healing with orthodox medicine and seek early medical treatment. 

He also urged faith and traditional healers to encourage patients or clients to visit the health facilities regularly after they are done with their part of the treatment.  

The Brian spirit desk is a program that aims to bridge the mental health treatment gap in the Ketu South Municipality



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