I lumbered from the taxicab at the junction on Sunday morning and accelerated my strides in order to catch up with time at work since the morning was getting older. I was moved by an irresistible urge of sympathy and a little curiosity to assist this young woman and a boy who were struggling with a middle-aged man by the road side. The man demanded he be chauffeured home rather than in a passenger car because he claims he is a minister and must be given special treatment. I succeeded in establishing rapport and calmed this agitated man down but unbeknown to me, he had clenched his fist and hid them at his back as if an obedient child before his father, just waiting for me to move a step towards him to hit, but he was unfortunately sent down by the weight of his own blow after punching the air as I managed to swiftly dodge him. He bellowed from the ground upwards, cursing me of aiding his discharge in his previous admission on the ward. The woman told him I wasn't the one but he insisted that I was wearing a white shirt and wearing same today too... I finally advised them to go home and come the following day.

In another scene, Mr. x came crying, toting with his bag and baggage and complained bitterly of how he is being maltreated, insulted and discriminated in all things ever since he was discharged home and pleaded that he wants to stay on the ward and wouldn't go home again. Though his speech wasn't all that coherent, one could deduce from a professional observation that there was an iota of truth in what he was saying because there has been similar cases. How would you feel if you spot the patient you once cared for, took his mental status examination (MSE) and realised he exhibits no more psychotic symptoms, have good judgement and memory, orientated in all spheres and thought it wise that he or she could be managed at home on O.P.D bases and went forth to recommend his discharge, now feeding on garbage in a Zoomliom refuse container at the Agbogbloshie market or has erected his tent in the middle of N1 highway road, distracting vehicular movements or displaying some antics in the middle of Kwame Nkrumah Circle Roundabout. Do you feel self stigmatised as a psychiatric nurse? Do you even see the profession as a rightfully chosen one? Yes, I guess so, because "nursing is a call".

The passage of the Mental Health Act 2012 by parliament on the 2nd of March 2012 did not only register smiles on the faces of sympathisers and aficionados of psychiatric nursing in Ghana, but also an earnest expectation of a new face of nursing in the sector within the shortest possible time as far as the care of people living with mental illness are concern. The enthusiasm that greeted mental health practitioners across the country upon the passage of the law created an ambience of hope that the new law will prim mental health care in Ghana. It is the hope of all that the new law will address the perennial challenges bedevilling the sector since it contains some antidote in its provisions capable of mitigating those challenges including the protection of the fundamental human right of people with mental disorders in Ghana. The new law demanded that within a six month period of its passage certain structures be operationalized to give it full steam. Which means that the Mental Health Board would have been established within that time frame with the key function of overseeing the drafting of a legislative instrument to operationalize the new law. But nineteen months down the lane since its passage, has anything changed? Or maybe the good news is in the pipeline. Thanks to the late president, Professor John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills for appending his signature on the Mental Health law 2012 on the 31st of May 2012, just within two months of its passage.

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This is the fourth interview in the Global Mental Health Inside Stories series on this in2mhconnect website. In this series I want to collect and spread information/ideas from people active in mental health from all over the world and specially from low resource settings or fragile countries.
I hope this series contributes to more insight in the challenges and wishes from people active in these settings and adds to a more bottom up movement in global mental health.
This time James Sanahene answers 10 questions about mental health care in Ghana, his organization FAAF (For All Africa Foundation), the challenges and successes, wishes for the future and his view on the global mental health movement.

Dear all,


Attached please find a call and application forms for the AFFIRM (Africa Focus on Intervention Research for Mental Health) Fellowship for 2014.


AFFIRM is offering fellowships to candidates for Hub countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Uganda and Zimbabwe) to complete the MPhil in Public Mental Health in the centre for Public Mental Health in 2014. Only 1 fellowship will be awarded per country. The due date for applications is 30 September 2013.


It would be much appreciated if you could please forward the attached information to anyone who may be interested.


Many thanks and kind regards,

The Alan J. Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health

Two final year medical students from the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University for Development Studies in Tamale, Ghana, have completed a month long elective placement in psychiatry at St John of God Hospital in Dublin. The two students, Mr. Andanye V. Peter and Mr. Wondoh M. Paul were first runners up at the 2nd inter-medical school public speaking completion to promote career option for Ghanaian medical students. The event which was organized by the Association of Ghanaian Professionals in Ireland in collaboration with the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Chief Psychiatrist of the Ghana Health Service and the various Faculties of the four medical schools in Ghana was jointly sponsored by St Patrick’s University Hospital and St John of God Hospital both in Dublin.

The winners of the competition, two final year medical students from the School of Medical Sciences at the University of Cape Coast will undertake a similar elective placement at St Patrick’s University Hospital in August 2013.

click the link below to

Coming Event : The First Mental Health and Well-Being Conference of Ghana which will be held 10th-13th October 2013 (opening on World Mental Health Day) at the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons in 54 Independence Avenue Ridge – Accra.

Registration is now OPENED. Take advantage of Early Bird Rates.

Please click to download Conference Registration Form      Register NOW!!


Professor Norman Sartorius (Switzerland) is the President of Association for the Improvement of Mental Health Programmes. Professor Sartorius is a former director of the World Health Organization‘s (WHO) Division of Mental Health, and a Former President of the World Psychiatric Association.


Professor Brenda Happell RN, RPN, BA(Hons), Dip Ed., BEd., MEd, PhD.

Director of the Institute for Health and Social Science Research and Professor of Contemporary Nursing, Queensland Australia. Consultant to (WHO).


Dr Victor Doku is a Consultant Psychiatrist, Epidemiologist and lecturer

at the Institute of Psychiatry London and a Research fellow at the Kintampo

Health Research Centre in Ghana.


Dr George Kweifio-Okai holds a PhD in Physiology from the University of Melbourne.

As well as being a biomedical scientist, George has a keen interest in natural medicine.

He has been visiting a lecturer at the Ghana Medical School and KNUST

School of Medical Sciences.


Dr Euan Hails JP is  Clinical Lead for Psychosis Services, Hywel Dda Health Board.

National Lead FEP Wales & Member of 1000Lives Plus Faculty. Highly experienced

senior mental health care (Evidence based psychological interventions)

and education provider, experienced in the development and delivery of

skills based CBT focused educational programmes and therapeutic services.


Mr Francis Acquah is a Credentialed Mental Health Nurse accredited by the

Australian College of Mental Health Nurses and is the Clinical Director of

Positive Mental Health Program Pty Ltd, a company providing mental

health support, counselling, psycho-social rehabilitation community reintegration.

Francis is a Broad Member of Mental Health Foundation Ghana.


Dr Prosper Abusah has been working with Central Australian Mental Health Services

as Senior Consultant Psychiatrist and Honorary Lecturer at the Flinders Medical School

of Flinders University. He is based at Alice Springs Hospital. Dr Abusah worked for the

World Health Organisation (WHO) and was based at the Fiji School of Medicine as

the Head of Department of Psychiatry and Senior Clinical Tutor.

This article is a trip through the current mental health field of Africa in 28 recent articles from 14 African countries. With 28 links to articles and a few pictures.

Mental health facilities, legislation and capacity building on the African continent are amongst the poorest of the world. But there are improvements, developments and off course many many challenges left.

On October 10 2012 it’s the 20th Anniversary of the World Mental Health Day. The African continent could use some extra attention on this day.