The Alliance for Mental Health and Development has called on the government and other relevant stakeholders to as a matter of urgency constitute and inaugurate the Mental Health Board to consolidate the gains chalked by the previous board. 

The alliance fears further delay in constituting the board would “negatively affect the successful implementation of the National Mental Health Policy”. 

This was stated in a communique issued to observe and celebrate this year’s International Day for Mental Health and copied to 

The Alliance also called on stakeholders to use the day to reflect on challenges in the sector and devise mechanisms towards addressing the identified challenges. 

“The Alliance for Mental Health and Development (also known as the Mental Health Alliance), on this occasion of the 2021 World Mental Health Day, here call on the government of Ghana (GoG), particularly, the President, Minister of Health, Minister of Finance, and the honorable Parliament of the Republic to take the opportunity of this international day for mental health to address the numerous challenges confronting Ghana’s Mental Health sector.”, the communique stated. 

The Alliance lamented the inability of the government in constituting aboard since the previous board completed its tenure some 10 months ago adding that “without a functioning Board, the Mental Health Alliance is convinced that it will be difficult for the Mental Health Authority to mobilize the resources it requires to operate effectively.” 

“At this critical time, when the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the weaknesses in the mental health systems of many countries including Ghana, it is important for Government to translate its promises into reality by effectively investing in the development of Ghana’s mental health system through concrete actions so that the mental health sector of the country’s health system is not left behind”, further stated the communique signed by Peter Badimak YARO, the executive Director, BasicNeeds-Ghana and National Convenor, Alliance for Mental Health and Development. 

The Alliance appreciated efforts by the Mental Health Authority in engaging stakeholders towards the development of a framework to guide the practice of traditional and faith-based healers.

It is expectant the new board that would be constituted would facilitate and ensure effective implementation of the National Mental Health Policy.

The board is also expected to enforce the Mental Health Law and inaugurate the Mental Health Review Tribunal, Mental Health Visiting Committees, and revive the Mental Health Regional Sub-committees. 

“We believe these will ensure that people’s mental health needs are met, and their rights protected”, it added. 

The Alliance lauded the government’s promise to build mental health hospitals in the middle and northern belts of the country and called for early delivery of the facilities. 

“We are hopeful that Government will heed our call to prioritize mental health in Ghana through concrete actions such as constituting the Governing Board of the Mental Health Authority and adequately resourcing mental health care in Ghana”, the communique concluded.

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