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Primary Healthcare Providers Trained To Identify Mental Illness Early   
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Mental healthcare delivery would receive a big boost if midwives and nurses at the primary healthcare outfits were able to easily identify mental illnesses at the embryonic stages.

Another booster to mental healthcare would be for these categories of health professionals to completely abandon the sometimes innate beliefs and attitudes associated with mental illnesses.

Mr Kingsley Kumbelim, the Project Officer of Basic Needs Ghana, was speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the side lines of a workshop at Nkwanta for 50 nurses and midwives picked from the northernmost districts of the Volta Region.

Basic Needs Ghana is a local Non Governmental Organisation working in partnership with its international wing to promote mental healthcare in Ghana.

He said those health professionals at those levels saw majority of people seeking healthcare in Ghana and would, by no means, impact greatly on mental healthcare in the country.

“These health professionals are at the Out-Patient-Departments, Child Clinics, Antenatal and Post Natal Clinics and indeed live among the people and, therefore, crucial to Ghana’s plans to raise awareness, care and treatment for the mentally ill,” Mr Kumbelim stated.

The programme is under a project dubbed: “Strengthening Community Mental Health Services to Improve Youth and Women’s Mental Health in Ghana,” with support from the Department for International Development UK (DFID).

Beneficiary districts are Krachi East and West, Krachi Nchumuru, and Nkwanta North and South.

He said there were simple but important decisions that nurses and midwives could take, not needing psychiatrists, to make that important difference for a client.

Courage Ahorlu-Dzage, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) Volta Regional Co-ordinator of Mental Health, said there was the urgent need to extend treatment opportunities for mental disorders across the country.

He said in the Volta Region for example, it was thought that only five per cent of those needing treatment for mental conditions got to the orthodox treatment centres.
Source: GNA

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