By Ansu Kofi Richard, B/A
Director, Organization and Programmes of National Youth Authority (NYA) at the Head Office, Accra, Mr. Stephen Estibah, has said the emotional health of young persons, must strictly be considered and put them on the right track.
Mr. Estibah, admitted that because of the stress within the system and the challenges befalling the country, if the youth are not natured properly, they would veer off the leadership role in future and will not become responsible leaders.
He disclosed this at a Sensitization Meting on Mental Health and Development Model for Partners/Adolescents of the Ghana Adolescent Reproductive Health (GHARH) Project held in Sunyani.
It was organized by the National Youth Authority (NYA) with support from UKaid, through DFID and was facilitated by BasicNeeds and managed by Palladium.
Mr. Estibah, noted that due to the influx of social media, young people have refused to pay heed to the counseling of their parents but rather relying on alternatives sources.
In respect of this, he recommended for the country to make use of its socio, culture, norms and values to be used to protect the young people in becoming responsible leaders.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of BasicNeeds, Mr.Badimak Peter Yaro, advocated for the scaling up of mental health services in the country to boost access of mental health services.
Mr. Yaro, further called for the establishment of prominent mental health facilities which could secure the privacy of the visitors who might throng the centre’s for service.
The mental health centres should be established in all communities to enable access for the mental health checks, he claimed.
Adding that, through the facilitation of BasicNeeds, Alliance for mental health and Development, has been instituted to advance mental health issues because issues relating to mental health have been relegated to the background.
He proposed for persons with mental illness to benefit from disability fund which is managed by Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in the country. Mr. Yaro expressed worried about the mental health centres in the country which do not enhance the integration of mental ill persons into the society.
He explained that it is because regimented nature of psychiatric centres in the country is not the same as homes, it is against this reason families should be supported to reintegrate their members into the communities after mental treatment, he said.
In addition, the Brong Ahafo Regional Mental Health Coordinator, Joseph Yere, indicated that the region is faced with difficulties in fighting substance abuse amongst the senior high school students and tertiary students.
Some of the major challenges in fighting mental health illness is the erratic drugs supply such as ‘’Wee’’ Lakar which is the mixture of Marijuana and alcohol, Ataya, Tobacco, Cigarette among others.
According to Mr Yere, a total of 1,416 male, and 873 females, were attended to in the various indicators from January to June 2016.