President of the Psychiatric Association of Ghana (PAG), Dr. Ruth Owusu Antwi, has called for swift psychological interventions to be given to victims of the Apeatse explosion.
According to her, some of the residents may engage in risky behaviours to help them cope with their distressing thoughts.
In an interview on the AM Show on Monday, January 24, she mentioned that some also develop psychiatric disorders like depression, anxiety and post-traumatic disorders.
Dr. Owusu Antwi revealed that such circumstances can land them in substance abuse and severe mental challenges if not attended to within a certain period.
“When emergencies like this happen, it causes a lot of devastation to people, their family members and the society at large. What usually happens is that people begin to feel a sense of anxiety, they begin to feel afraid and they live in despair and they begin to have sleep challenges.”
“People are likely to resort to substance misuse because out of anxiety, they resort to unhealthy coping mechanism. Some people will resort to drinking away their worries and fears and eventually land into substance dependence, especially alcohol and sometimes cocaine,” she noted.
She further hinted that some individuals may develop suicidal thoughts after assessing the magnitude of their losses, something she wants stakeholders to urgently pay attention to and address.
“People begin to feel that they have lost their sense of protection in a society that was previously intact. This kind of emergencies can potentially aggravate existing mental health challenges or it can start new mental health challenges.”
“Very worrying again is the high correlation of some of these traumatic experiences and suicidality. Many people, especially the men, who think that their whole fortunes have been shut down by this explosion will decide that there is no worth living again. Suicide is another risk we should quickly look out for and intervene,” she suggested.
Dr. Ruth Antwi, however, noted that it is natural for people to feel scared and extremely afraid, adding that residents of Apeatse are expected to develop acute stress reactions which may later culminate in acute stress disorders.
“I think that we have been a bit slow but this time around, it has been relatively faster compared to other disasters that have been happening. I remember the stadium disaster, I remember the Circle floods and some psychiatric interventions were offered but they did not come in early enough,” she recounted.
- Accra floods twice in four days after another downpour
- Photos: Part of Accra-Tema Beach Road caves in after Monday night rains
- Sir John did not declare his assets
- Be circumspect about Sir John’s will; none of us will live to be stones – Former Aide
- ‘Deem Sir John’s alleged land ownership at Achimota Forest, Ramsar Site void’ – Jinapor directs Lands, Forestry Commissions
- Photos: Floods cause severe damage to parts of Accra
- Lands Commission flood: Your land documents are intact – Deputy Lands Minister assures
- 16-year-old girl stabbed to death in a fight over alleged boyfriend
- Man arrested for trying to cut off taxi driver’s genitals
- Ghanaians are oblivious of dangers of terrorism – Dr. Vladimir Antwi-Danso
Oparlor.com announces presence in Ghana with exciting news
Minority in Parliament demands public inquiry into declassification of Achimota Forest
NPP UK Branch elects new executives
There’s no pressure on me to release hit songs — Black Sherif
Premier League approves Chelsea takeover deal by Todd Boehly consortium
Don’t be local champions — Camidoh advises artistes
Memorial lecture to be held in honour of Kojo Bentsi-Enchill Letsa
South Africans in shock over death of ‘Rhythm City’ actor Jamie Bartlett
Patapaa’s marriage to German wife, Liha Miller, reportedly hits rocks
I want to marry urgently — Actress Eucharia Anunobi
Lands Minister, Forestry Commission must appear before Parliament over Achimota Forest controversy – Alhassan Suhuyini
Francis Amuzu reveals why he would play for Belgium ahead of Ghana
OccupyGhana commends Land Minister but demands commission of inquiry into Achimota Forest lands controversy
Landslide scare hits residents around Weija-Kasoa ridge
Special Prosecutor charges failed Juaben MCE nominee with 26 counts of corruption