The Chief Executive Officer of Mental Health Authority, (MHA) Dr. Akwasi Osei says it is regrettable Ghanaians are willing to support beauty pageantry than mental health in the country.
In an interview on Starr FM monitored by Prime News Ghana on May 7, 2019, he stated that the public is not responding to issues of mental health.
“We asked for support from the public some time back and we received just GHC300. It is regrettable that we do not support Mental Health in this country. If we ask people to support a beauty pageant or something, I am sure they would pay more.”
Psychiatric patients will now have to pay upfront before they receive any attention at psychiatric hospitals across the country. Dr. Akwasi Osei noted that donor funding for the sector has run out and the government has failed to heed to the incessant calls for the support for mental health issues.
“We are back to Cash and Carry at our psychiatric hospitals. Donor support stopped since December last year. Government has not given us the funds to work. Now you’d need anywhere from 500 cedis to 1000 cedis to get care. It’s unfortunate but there’s nothing else we can do''.
The Mental health CEO also said the mentally ill patients are not fed well because there aren't enough funds to support feeding
“On many occasions, we’ve had to serve patients with just porridge without bread. Meanwhile, considering the drugs we administer to our patients, they have to be well fed. The food served patients at the hospitals are compromised because there isn’t enough cash''.
He also disclosed that: “We’ve engaged the Ministry and we’ve been assured a number of times that we will receive our cash to run the facilities but as we speak, we’ve not received any cash. The last time I said nobody cared about Mental Health in this country, I thought I would be proven wrong. Nobody called me to ask what our needs were. Nobody cares. In the short term, the releasing of funds will help but in the long term, we need the LI on Mental Health Levy passed…it is just simple.''