Over a year after the Mental Health Act became law, its new Board met for the first time on Thursday 28 November. The Board is now urgently planning an extended period of time together to formulate the next steps in detail. Here we show you the membership and describe what we believe those next steps will be.
We're delighted to report that the members of the national Mental Health Board have been sworn-in at a ceremony in Accra today.
We have been campaigning and lobbying for this to happen since the appointment of the Board had been delayed for over a year, following the passing of the Mental Health Act. At the beginning of November we began a petition on Change.org which gained just under 6,000 signatures from people across the world calling for better mental health care.
The Board is vital as they will be able to make the major changes needed in Ghana to improve the support and treatment of mentally ill people across the country.
The Kintampo Project was present at the ceremony, and our organisation was mentioned as playing a key role in accelerating the appointment of the Board.
Watch this space for more news, including a full list of the Board members, and the next steps.
For now, we'd like to thank everyone who supported our campaign - your input helped to make a real difference.
A huge thank you to all who have supported our cause by signing the petition and sharing it with your friends, family and colleagues.
As of 5 November we have received over 250 signatures and have been overwhelmed by the messages of support from people across the globe.
If you haven't signed the petition yet, please consider it. Appointing the Mental Health Board is the single biggest step that the Government must take to improve the lives of people with mental health problems in Ghana.
You can find out more about the importance of this petition by reading our last news entry.
You can sign the petition here: bit.ly/GMHpetition
In the meantime, here's what Professor Sir Eldryd Parry, founder of the Tropical Health Education Trust, and Patron of our charity, The Kintampo Trust, said when he signed the petition:
"Mental health is deeply neglected in global health, its stigma is unabated and its treatment gap is unacceptably high. Effective health services are fundamental if these sad facts are to be reversed, which is possible if action follows this petition. Such action would enable the Government of Ghana to lead West Africa in mental health services."
- Beatings and shackling.
- Lack of support and treatment.
- Stigma and discrimination.
Things need to change. Now.
A year and a half ago, after years of lobbying, a new modern Mental Health Act became law in Ghana. The Act will make a massive difference for people with mental health problems.
But since passing the Act the Government has not even taken the first step to turn the Act into practice: Appointing the national Mental Health Board.
For the two million people with mental illness across the country, most of whom currently receive no support, this is unacceptable.
The Kintampo Project is lobbying the Ghanaian Government to delay no further. We're asking the Government to appoint the Mental health Board, now. Please show your support by signing our petition: Together we can change things for the better.