Monday, July 20, 2009

Can Ghana be a better place for everybody?

I see the word “lunatic” and “mad man” to be somewhat politically incorrect. For the purpose of this post I will therefore avoid the use of these terms and rather fall on the term senior citizens which would refer to the men and women who walk on our streets every day without homes and have lost control of some parts of their mental faculties.

Mad men in Gh

The Accra Psychiatric Hospital currently is facing a major problem of returning recovered in-mated to their homes. In Ghana mental diseases in whichever form is seen as a shameful ailment and thus not too many family members would even want to associate themselves directly or indirectly with such affected individuals. What usually happens is that people with some sort of mental illness are taken to one of the only three psychiatric hospitals in Ghana and are abandoned at the hospital. Wrong addresses and contact numbers are provided to the hospital administration. In this case no cquaintance can be contacted when the need arises.

I always wonder who takes care of our senior citizens who walk in town obviously unconscious of their environment. I have seen and heard lots of beauty queens and NGO’s pledge their support for the homeless, the motherless, the poor, the un-educated, the disabled, I am however yet to come across one who will pledge an unconditional support to see to it that our senior citizens get access to a happy and a more hygienic lifestyle. I took my camera one day and decided to capture a few and trust me it wasnt too difficult to come by a few. This is a part of Ghana that nobody seems to cae so much about. Yet it is an image that is slowly affecting the beauty of the country.


One surprising event is that we hardly see them at ‘post’ whenever a special dignitary comes into the country. I hear they are forcefully captured and hidden from the sight of the visiting dignitaries. Shouldn’t this be a prompt for society to do something about them once and for all? No matter their current situations they are a part of us and need to be attended to in one way or another. The question is who will be the first to bell the cat?


9 comments:

BRIGHT NKANSAH said...

I just wonder where they are and what happens to the many students that graduate from the University of Ghana with BScs in Psychology and its combinations. Someone told me they usually end up or at least most of them target HRM positions in the various businesses. Sounds good though, but are there any clinical psychologists in the Ghana and who are their customers? Are they able to help the mentally ill at all? Obviously, society has a role to play and I wonder whether 'depression' as a word or mental state exists in Ghana.
One thing we must note is that a lot of free investments are required to deal with these 'senior citizens' as is being done in the 'economically stable' countries because u hardly earn anything from them. Stigmatization with respect to drug-use and witchcraft and then discrimination against such mentally unsound individuals also makes it difficult for anybody to help them.

MIghTy African said...

love the post, thanks for throwing more light on this issue.

Edward: said...

@ Bright|| A BSc degree in Psychology does not make someone a Psychogist. One needs at least a PhD in Psychology to deal with 'cutomers' in such fields.

@ Ato || Thank you very much Ato. I hope someone somewhere someday will find a solution to this problem. Or maybe the youth could come together to propose a solution!!

BRIGHT NKANSAH said...

@ Edward.. you didn't get me then. The question I am asking is: why is it that there aren't enough clinical psychologist even though there are 1000's of graduates in psychology.
It is about time that we as a society and country recognize the early indicators such as 'depression' and 'anxiety'and (the psychologist)deal with them as preventive measures instead of sticking to the old approach where a lot of money has to be spent in curing such problems.
Aside from the fact that the curative approach is expensive, it tends to be too late by the time such 'mad people' reach the psychiatric hospital. We as a society then have a major role to play.

Mac-Jordan Holdbrookes said...

Nice points raised. I believe, if we focus more on this issue; someone somewhere will act on it. We don't need to be hiding our "senior-citizens" from visiting heads of states and other dignitaries. Are we ashamed of our own people? People, lets stand up and do something about it. Yes, we can.

Edward said...

@ Mac-J|| Thank you very much for adding your voice to this campaign and a powerful one too!!

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Edward: said...

@ Susan|| Thank you very much for the commendation. Please visit as often as you can

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