In response to the recent media reports on suicides across the country, the Centre for Suicide and Violence Research (CSVR) at the Department of Psychology, University of Ghana, is organizing a one day Stakeholders’ forum to discuss critical issues related to suicide prevention and mental health in Ghana.
The forum, is scheduled for Thursday 30th March 2017, at the Kofi Drah Conference Room, University of Ghana, Legon.
It is expected to bring together experts in the field of mental health, suicide management, and psychology to engage with the general public to discuss effective means towards;
1. Developing a national policy on suicide prevention
2. Developing a surveillance system to capture suicide data in Ghana.
3. Sustaining advocacy on decriminalizing attempted suicide and improving mental health services in Ghana
4. Building bridges/collaboration (e.g., with religious leaders, NGO’s, Traditional leaders etc)
5. Gatekeeper training in suicide prevention in Ghana
6. Public education on stigma reduction and way forward
7. Financing help-line system for suicide prevention in Ghana
8. Formation of the Ghana Association for Suicide Prevention (GASP)
The center in it’s invitation, signed by Dr. Joseph Osafo (CSVR, Psychology Dept) and Prof Charity S. Akotia, country rep for the International Association of Suicide Prevention (IASP) said, it was hopeful to set up a task force which will translate concluded discussions into achievable action plans.
It also expressed gratitude to it’s sponsors – of the event such as Dr. Jemima Kankam (USA), Evelyn V. Appiah (UK), Retired educator). The 1967 Year Group – Wesley Girls’ Senior High School (WEY-GEY-HEY), the Mental Health & Well-being Foundation, Accra, Brain Clinic, Accra (Dr. Yao Mfodwo) and Mrs. Hilda Apini Brown (Favour Foundation for Life).
It further pleaded with interested others to support the forum and subsequent trainings to improve suicide prevention and mental health in general.
Kobby Blay is the chief health editor at Ghanahealthnest.com. A professional practicing nurse with specialty in mental health and focus for health communications, public health, medical/documentary photography, ICT and systems perspective for health improvement.