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Songtaba, a local NGO initiates a project to promote Mental Health of women with disabilities in the Northern and North East Regions

Songtaba, a local NGO in partnership with Ghana Somubi Dwumadie has launched a four-year disability programme dubbed; “Promoting Women Mental Health Rights in Ghana.”

According to the Executive Director of Songtaba, Hajia Lamnatu Adam the project will focus on promoting policies and systems that respect the rights of people with disabilities, including mental health disabilities in the Northern and North East Regions.

She said the project will also seek to scale up high quality and accessible mental health services to reducing stigma and discrimination against people with disabilities, including mental health disabilities.

Hajia Lamnatu Adam lamented that women living in exclusion such as alleged witches and their caregivers in the target communities have limited access to mental health care, psychosocial support and limited counselling services.

The Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Shani Alhassan Shaibu in an address lamented that “the non- operationalization of a Legislative Instrument for the mental health Act, remains a stumbling block to the effective delivery of mental health care services”.

He urged MMDAs “as part of their medium-term development plans to put in strategies to address the challenges of mental health delivery in Ghana” since Mental Health remained a critical component of human development.

The Minister revealed that government would soon build some mental health facilities across the country” and Tamale is expected to benefit from this initiative.

Head of Department, Social and Behavioral Change Communication Department at the University for Development Studies, Dr. Mustapha Alhassan in a presentation called for the integration of mental health into the mainstream health delivery system in Ghana.

He said this will ensure access, timely and quality mental health delivery to persons in need of each service and also reduce the stigma associated with it.

Story By: Ken-Zoure Edward

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