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Lunatics To Be Arrested?   
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Within the next five years, all lunatics roaming the streets, of cities and towns countrywide, would be rounded up and sent to the mental hospitals, for treatment.

This follows the passage of the Mental Health Bill into law, which now empowers the mental hospitals to cause the arrest of psychiatric patients on the streets.

Speaking to the Times in Accra yesterday on the new law, Mr. David Macauley, Deputy Director of Nursing Services Accra Psychiatric Hospital, said to ensure its effective implementation, a task force would be set up, to round up people with mental disorders and give them free treatment.

He said the families and relatives of the mental patients would be located through social workers, to get them involved in their care, after which they would be integrated into society, to contribute to development. “People do not want to identify themselves with mental patients due to the stigma attached to the disease,” Mr. Macauley noted.

He said it was difficult in the past for mental hospitals to arrest the mentally challenged on the streets due to legal implications, pointing out that if one went for a mental patient on the street, one could be sued by the relatives of the patient.

But now, the mental hospitals have the mandate to arrest psychiatric patients and give them proper care. Mr. Macauley said the presence of lunatics on the streets constituted a public nuisance and a threat to motorists and other road users who sometimes came under attacks by them.

“Until we remove all these people from the streets and give them better treatment, nobody will respect mental care,” he stressed.

Mr. Macauley said the law would enable health care providers to educate herbalists who have mental patients in their care, to give them humane treatment, warning that “for, instance, making mental patients to fast will worsen their conditions. They also need nourishing diets to improve their health.”
Source: The Ghanaian Times

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