Health News of Mon, 3 Sep 201810

Mental disorder cases on the rise in Ashanti Region

Health authorities in Ashanti Region are reporting increasing rate of mental health cases.

Over 3,000 cases were recorded in the first half of this year, up from 2,555 in 2016 and 2,994 in 2017.

Officials attribute the trend to marital problems, drug abuse and poverty, among other factors.

Regional Mental Health Coordinator, Faustina Nuako, says persons in relationships particularly the youth, must be given counsel on how to handle situations of jilt, in order to halt the development.

"There is a lot of stress in the system. You can see we have a lot of disappointments. Most of the youth are now engaging in courtship. When you get to the tertiary institutions, they don't even understand what they are doing."

World Health Organization estimates over 2.8 million Ghanaians are suffering from severe and mild mental disorders.

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In the last three years, the number of mental patients who seek healthcare has gone up.

Officials point to unfulfilled relationship promises that are driving, especially, young women into mental disorders.

"Most of the women used their parents' money or the little they have, to sponsor the men with the hope that they are going to get married in future but they [men] disappoint them; they think about it and they have mental conditions," she said. 

Mrs. Nuako says marital failure and drug abuse are other leading causes.

"Most of the youth are now engaging in drugs. You can go to even the primary school and you can get Class Six pupils engaging in drugs."

Ama, who was jilted by her boyfriend after a 3-year relationship, is undergoing treatment at a rehabilitation centre.

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"I became very bitter and I still am. Anytime that I see or hear any of my colleagues who are also getting married, I just cried. I am very bitter and have given up on love," she cried.

For her, depression means the end of her world.          

The alarming trend comes despite improved mental healthcare as many health facilities have Mental Health Units to treat patients.

Sixty-three of such facilities are spread across the Ashanti Region.

Mrs. Nuako wants intensified public education, especially, to the youth on life-threatening decisions they make.

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