The Basic Needs Ghana, an advocacy mental health organisation, has organised a capacity building training in Bolgatanga for stakeholders in the health sector on how to develop checklist to track resources allocated for community mental health work.
The stakeholders, drawn from the Bolgatanga Municipal, Kassena-Nankana Municipal, Bongo, Binduri, Bawku West and Talensi districts included district directors, district and municipal mental health coordinators, accountants and drivers of the Ghana Health Service.
The training programme, funded by STAR-Ghana, is under the project “Accessible and quality mental healthcare for poor and marginalised persons with mental disorders.”
The three-year project is aimed at improving community mental health treatment through increased funding and increased budgetary allocations for community mental healthcare services.
It further created the platform for the stakeholders to be trained in other logistics and infrastructure deployed to the Community Mental Health Units.
Mr Adam Dokurugu Yahaya, the Programmes Coordinator of Basic Needs Ghana, said the training package was to help establish a bench mark for resources available for mental health in Ghana that would inform duty bearers and policy makers to increase mental health services fund at the national and the community levels.
He said the project, which was being implemented by other partners, including the Northern Sector Action on Awareness Centre, Mental Health Society of Ghana, Mission of Hope Society International (MIHOSO), and the Ghana Alliance for Mental Health and Development, covered the Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Brong Ahafo and Greater Accra regions.
The project also seeks to influence the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and the Ministry of Finance to commit resources to community mental health care.
It seeks further to work with healthcare providers to improve community mental healthcare services, facilitate active involvement advocacy towards approval of the Legislative Instrument (LI) of the Mental Health Law (Mental Health Act, 2012, 846).
The goal is to eventually ensure an effectively functioning community mental health system in Ghana, he said.