General News of Tue, 14 Mar 201710
30 calls in 4 days - Suicidal persons fall on newly set-up helpline
Thirty people have so far called the helpline four days after it was set up by the Mental Health Authority for persons in need of psychological help or contemplating suicide.
According to the head of communications of the Authority, Kweku Brobbey, all those who called for help have been counselled.
Two more alleged suicide cases were recorded Monday in Ashaiman in the Greater Accra region and Affram Plains in the Eastern region.
Adom FM's Kwame Yankah reported that a driver, Bright Wovi, who is said to be in his mid-30s was found hanging on a tree close to a park at Jericho, a community in Ashaiman.
The second suicide case was reported in the Akye Amanfrom in the Affram Plains South district of the Eastern region involving a young woman, Leticia Amaki, 26, who was found hanging on a water reservoir near the Presbyterian Clinic.
Before these cases, one incident was reported last Saturday at Achimota in which Belinda Gabla, 14, a primary five student reportedly took her own life.
It brings the number of alleged suicides deaths to six in the last month. This forced the Mental Health Authority to launch a helpline to help depressed persons and others in need of psychological counsel.
Mr Brobbey explained to Joy News that although resources are constrained, his office ensures every call from prospective patients was treated with utmost urgency and given help.
"Some of them call in and they tell you they need help and the line drops so we make the efforts to get back to know those who genuinely need help and we help them.
"When we call them back we get to know those who need advice and we advise them to go to the right place we know they would get the desired help," he added.
Responding to issue of filling the vacuum between the time someone calls the helpline and the time he/she receives help, Mr Brobbey said, "it is about what the person needs at the time of the call."
He noted that they cannot solve all the problems from the people who call explaining that "irrespective of us talking to them, some people may still go ahead, but we believe that whatever intervention we are giving, may be successful in getting some to change their minds."
The helplines are 050 991 4046 and 020 681 4666.