The 1994 Year Group of Wesley Girls’ High School (Wey Gey Hey) have completed a major renovation of a ward at the Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital (Forster Ward) located in Cape Coast.

This project was sponsored by mobilized monies gained from fundraising activities they undertook.

They did this as part of efforts to draw more attention to the menace of mental health disease and to ease the burden of people living with this illness.

In her official address, the President of the Wey Gey Hey 1994 Year Group, Commander Naa Ayeley Akwei-Aryee, said undertaking this venture also formed part of the group’s activities to celebrate the group’s 25th anniversary of completing high school.

“We the 1994 graduating class of Wesley Girls’ High School decided to give back to the wider community that nurtured and contributed to our formative years. After brainstorming on what to do, we settled on this project. It is a decision we have not regretted and we derived so much joy from doing it,” she said.

She further stated that the 1994 Year Group considered it important that women living with mental illness are treated with dignity and provided with a clean healthy environment to heal.

With the support of the Old Girls’ Association (OGA) of Wesley Girls’ High School, the group set out to be the change they sought to see in society.

Representatives of the Wey Gey Hey 1994 Year Group were on the premises of the newly renovated and refurbished ward on Saturday, 23rd May to officially hand over the facility to the Director of the Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital, Dr. Kwadwo Obeng Marfo and his management team.

After renovation

The event came off while observing very strict social distancing with a limited number of guests and staff.

The group also donated some relief items to the hospital to support the the care of the patients.

On her part, Mrs Cynthia Darko Acquaye, who led the fundraising efforts and presided over the execution of the project added that the ultimate dream of their outfit after observing the abject conditions at the facility was to bring it up to the standard of an ultra-modern facility.

She mentioned that the completed repairs covered the entire ward including the replacement of the old asbestos roofing sheets which occupied approximately 2000m to aluminium long span, the renovation of all 5 wards, treatment room, in charge’s office, nurses changing area, the dining area, an outdoor summer hut, including the provision of new electrical fittings, refurbishment of terrazzo floors, new ceilings, new doors and windows, new beds and beddings, repainting and much more.

This was to provide a befitting therapeutic environment that would maintain the dignity of all patients.

On behalf of the administrative team, Director of the Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital, Dr. Kwadwo Obeng Marfo expressed their immense gratitude to the team for such an extraordinary demonstration of love.

“This is the most extensive renovation that has ever been done at the Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital here in Cape Coast. We thank the Wesley Girls’ High School 1994 Year Group for this project. The level of work done has been unprecedented and the impact it is going to have on the patients here is amazing. I am only hoping that other inclined groups, individuals, and organisations will also come to our aid to enable us to meet other pressing needs,” Dr. Kwadwo Obeng Marfo stated in an interview.

The handing over ceremony coincides with the World Mental Health Awareness Week from May 18th to 24th which is celebrated by the Mental Health Foundation. The theme this year is ‘Kindness’.

The Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital was built in 1965. Forster Ward, which is a ward for women with mental health problems.

Over the years, the facility has not been revamped since the Presidency of the late Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

Nkrumah’s vision at the time was to create an ultra-modern health facility with a campus design of a complete township.