Keep Mentally Challenged Off The Streets.

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Do we say the streets are no longer safe for the road user categorically the ones who trek by foot?

Why are people, who aren’t mentally stable be allowed to roam the streets with the normal Ghanaian posing as threats to them?

The rate at which these mentally challenged roam the streets is alarming these days. I personally encountered a scene around Labadi where an unstable woman was lying lifeless along the street, it took the bystanders to act on this incident. One may ask what is the use of the psychiatric hospitals or theReformation houses which are supposed to serve as confinement for the mentally unstable to help them recover.

The high ways and principal streets are no exception. There have been scenarios where people in their normal state of mind are being assaulted by these mentally challenged in society. A friend narrated her ordeal about how she was harassed.

According to her she was with some friends when suddenly a heavy slap landed on her “buttocks”, she turned angrily to hit whoever did that only to realise the person was not in the right state of mind. This comes not as a surprise to me, the lady in this picture was heavy loaded, you’d ask yourself so in this state of mind he had eye for endowed goods.

I personally keep a distance from such people when I have to encounter any of them. I usually cross to the left side of the road suppose I see any mentally unstable person at the right side of the streetand vice versa to avoid any form of abuse or injury.

Life is precious therefore of the believe that everyday counts in once life time and the need to stay safe and protected.

How can we watch out for vehicles, motor cyclists, and other road users as well as these mentally unstable on the roads?Though some may be docile others are dangerous. Some even go to the extent of asking those who sell along the streets for meals,water, and even coins. Others also have “history to narrate” and are accompanied by actions.

It gets interesting by the day when one of them decided to take over the duties of the police warden in directing traffic on the Labadi to Teshie road.

In an interview with a driver Nii Amu at 37 station stated that he witnessed a scene between one of the mentally unstable and a military officer engrossed in a heated battle when asked to leave a site he’s occupied but hesitated. This ended with the military man running from the scene.

In an interview with another road user. According to him, he encountered a mad man on his way to school at Palledium in Accra. In an intersection standing by the traffic light was this mentally challenged who stopped because the traffic light signaled red with the vehicles, when it turned amber stretched one leg on the street and green signal made him move with the moving vehicles.

Research have proven that certain elements triggers this act. It could be genetics, the wayone’s brain functions, the environment of one’s social group and culture and life experiences the individual undergoes. Other factors such as the use of illicit drugs such as cocaine, marijuana and amephetamines and alcohol abuse can trigger bipolar disorder. Not forgetting trauma, stress and depression such as social isolation, domestic violence relationship breakdown can increase the risk of mental illnesses especially in women as compared to men.

It’s about time the government andother authorities in charge takes a closer look at this situation to act on it.

EMMA ANKRAH

STUDENT JOURNALIST.

 

 

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