By Jerry Azanduna, GNA
Bawku (U/E), Oct. 15, GNA - Mr Richard Emmanuel Avadetsi, the Deputy Director of Nursing Services at the Bawku Presbyterian Hospital, Psychiatric Unit, has called on stakeholders in the health sector to increase public sensitisation on mental health.
He said they should also improve care for mental patients to slow the escalating of new cases adding that the high numbers of cases reported at hospitals, especially in the Bawku area, was worrying.
“Statistics at the Psychiatric Unit of the Bawku Presbyterian Hospital show that about five to eight persons are diagnosed with mental illnesses every month,” he said.
Passion for Total Healthcare, a mental health rehabilitation centre at Basonde in the Tempane District, also records about five to 10 cases every month.
Meanwhile about 20 males and six female patients were on admission at the centre and had been diagnosed with mental illness caused by marital problems and substance abuse, he said.
Mr Avadetsi said this in Bawku, Upper East Region, at a ceremony to mark the World Mental Health Day on the theme; “Suicide Prevention”.
He said cases of suicide attempts in the area were equally on the increase as more people were being diagnosed with mental illness through suicide attempts and other social issues.
Addressing students of the Bawku Presbyterian Nursing Training College (PNTC), Mr Avadetsi urged them to be each other’s keeper and report any strange behaviour of their colleagues, who may be under severe stress, to the Psychiatric Unit for timely care to prevent any mishap.
Dr Daniel Ofosu, a Medical Officer at the Hospital, described mental illness as part of human behaviour that could be treated and urged all to visit a psychiatrist every month.
He said about 120 cases of mental illnesses are recorded by the Hospital annually.
Dr Ofosu explained that mental illness could be developed through stress and genetic issues in humans and called on all to seek early medical attention to avoid complications.
Students of the school marked the day with a rout-march through the principal streets of Bawku with placards that read: “Seek help at the Mental Health Unit,” “Do not shame persons with mental illness,” “Invest in mental health,” “Every 40 seconds someone dies by suicide” and “Over 800,000 people die by suicide annually globally.”
The rest read: “Smoking is not good for your health,” “Suicide is preventable,” “Mental health, total health,” “Come for mental checkup,” and “Talk to someone about suicide.”
The Day is celebrated with activities including care for the mental patients on the streets, public education, and talks on mental health and suicide at educational institutions.