Some psychiatric nurses at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, have revealed that one of the major obstacles in the treatment of mentally challenged patients, is the neglect on the part of family and relatives during the course of treatment.
According to the nurses, these have made it difficult for the hospital managers to contain the influx of treated patients returning to the hospital.
They claim when treated patients are neglected by their relatives, the only place of abode for them is to return to the hospital or resort to begging on the streets of Accra.
It is disheartening as a health professional to see a treated patient in and around the Tema Station and the Central Business Districts (CDS) of Accra, begging for alms when huge sums of money, have been expended on their treatment.
This is all because of the rejection experienced at the hands of family people after the first episode of mental illness in the country she averred.
Patience Agyare, a Senior Nursing Officer at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, expressed these reservations on the sidelines of a presentation in
honour of the appeals made by the hospital over its indebtedness to suppliers and the closure of Outpatient services.
She said, the stigma attached to mental health was making it difficult in creating awareness on mental illness.
Mental illness is just when woman is pregnant is she had to see the Gynaecologist for treatment so is mental illness when one has problems with his or her thinking faculty, he or she has to see the psychiatric for treatment.
That is all there is to mental treatment and not any rocket science as being held by majority of Ghanaians she said.
According to her, mental treatment is a systematic process unlike the other illness where treatment is at a go like Malaria.
But when it comes to mental health treatment, the very moment one gets the first episode of mental illness then society turn to point accusing fingers at the patient and family persons she numerated.
She said there are various dynamics that trigger mental illness in the Ghanaian society, it could be job matters, sleepless nights not eating well, marriage problems, dating problems, recreation among others.
Aside the few issues of a young one going to take hard drugs, majority of the mental illness experienced in the country are triggered by basic necessities at the home she reveals.
She said there was an instance where a patient who was brought for treatment, recuperated and got home only to realize that his room has been rented out by his family people.
In such a situation the illness will be triggered again for the family to say the said patient has become a scarecrow scaring almost everybody in the home.
But, their actions triggered the illness this is the situation majority of mental health professionals find themselves in the country.