Mental health experts are lamenting an increase in mental health cases in Ghana as a total of 8,446 persons have so far been diagnosed with Schizophrenia in the 1st quarter of 2023.
Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally. Schizophrenia may result in some combination of hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking and behavior that impairs daily functioning and can be disabling. People with schizophrenia require lifelong treatment.
Available data indicates that a total of 19,856 cases of Schizophrenia which is chronic among all the mental health conditions were recorded in 2020.
In the year 2021, 20,755 persons were diagnosed with the ailment, while 24,790 cases were recorded in 2022.
The data was revealed by Catherine Agbokpa, Senior Nursing Officer, Mental Health Unit, Maamobi General Hospital, Gloria Ntsi, Senior Community Health Officer in an interview on Ghana Kasa show on Kasapa 102.5FM/Agoo TV Tuesday.
The health officers explained that Schizophrenia is difficult to deal with as the condition can only be managed but not cured.
They also stated that mental ailment is not a spiritual hence persons suffering from such conditions must be taken to the hospital for treatment and not taken to prayer camps for healing.
“Mental illness is not spiritual hence the place to deal with such condition is the hospital and not prayer camps. Take such patients to the hospital which is the right place and back the treatment with prayers,” Catherine Agbokpa said.
Meanwhile, today, October 10, 2023, is being observed as World Mental Health Day which is an international day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma.
It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries.