Please walk with me in the shoes of a typical mental health sufferer in Ghana.

Imagine suffering from an ailment which is shrouded in so much cultural misconception that you are neither able to discuss its dire consequences on your wellbeing with your family, nor seek healthcare at a health facility for fear of being identified with ‘madness’.

Also imagine living your life under the scare of pending doom, to the extent that the thought of suicide is an only option, although you cannot go to the hospital. Remember, you are scared to be identified.

To make it worse, imagine the situation where mental health care is proposed to be free in our laws but in reality, one has to pay every step of the way in order to receive health care. Again, let us not forget that in most cases, a mental health sufferer is unable to open up to immediate family for fear of being identified as a mad person, therefore the lack of personal funds to cater for healthcare may be the most probable situation.

Folks, these scenarios I have discussed attempt to sum up the challenges faced by mental health sufferers in Ghana. But there is hope. We at OtherslikemeGh believe that having discussions and raising awareness about the cultural misconceptions and myths surrounding mental health are the first steps to combatting the stigma.

Moreover, advocating for mental illness and giving back to the mental health community can be extremely powerful for both families and patients. Patient advocates even say that their advocacy work helps to strengthen their own mental health recovery. 

OtherslikemeGh is an awareness and advocacy group established in September 2018 with an aim of helping Ghanaians with mental health disorders find help. The group currently stands at a membership of over 30, and seeks to profile the personal stories of its members as a way of advocating for mental health care inclusion in the nation’s health insurance. OtherslikemeGH also aims to increase public engagement on ways to increase health literacy surrounding mental health conditions such as depression, bi-polar disorder, and anxiety disorders. The group is supported by mental health professionals.

This year, OtherslikemeGH is participating in the Total Startupper Challenge of the Year with a goal of raising funds to support its efforts to reach out to mental disorder sufferers. You can support this cause by clicking on this link:

 Please ‘sign up’, search for our project ‘OtherslikemeGH’, and ‘like’ our project in order to vote to support our cause.

Thank you so much for being a part of the movement to radically improve mental health care in Ghana!

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