Mental cases soar in A/R

Health authorities in the Ashanti Region have reported 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 attributed the trend to marital problems, drug abuse and poverty, amongst other factors.

Regional Mental Health Coordinator, Faustina Nuako, said 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 courtships. When you get to the tertiary institutions, they don’t even understand what they are doing.”

World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates over 2.8 million Ghanaians are suffering from severe and mild mental disorders.

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

Officials point to unfulfilled relationship promises that were 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 said marital failure and drug abuse were 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,” she said.

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

“I became very bitter and I still am. Anytime I see or hear any of my colleagues who are also getting married, I just cry. I am very bitter and have given up on love,” she sadly expressed.

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, therefore called for an intensified public education, especially for the youth on life-threatening decisions they make.


Story: Today Correspondent


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