In order to facilitate speedy recovery of persons living with mental illness, BasicNeeds-Ghana has called on families of mental health patients and the society in general to avoid stigmatizing them and provide them with the needed care and attention.
Most families of mental health patients adopt all manner of ways to confine them for fear of the patients causing harm to their family or community members. In some instances, these persons are either chained to trees or logs while others are kept in dark rooms with poor or no ventilation.
This practice has been condemned by the paramount chief of Talensi traditional area, Tongo-Ran Kubilsong Nalebegtan. The chief has directed house households confining mental health patients to release them and take them to hospitals for treatment.
Welcoming the move by the paramount chief, the Project Coordinator of BasicNeeds- Ghana, Bernard Azure, asked families of mental patients not stigmatise them but give them the needed care and attention as this forms part of their healing process.
Speaking on A1 RADIO, a Bolgatanga-based Radio station, Mr. Azure said: “The family plays a major important role to make sure that these persons become stabilised and contribute to family and community development. If they neglect them and don’t provide them with the care that they deserve, then they will not be able to stabilize even if they are providing them with treatment, they need care and attention.”
He urged families of mental health patients and the society at large, not to discriminate against because “somebody suffering from epilepsy or mental problem should be as a person in quotes is normal so that the person [mental patient] will not think that he is different from a member of the family or community.”