Mental health advocates at the Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital are calling for an increased effort in funding and advocacy on mental health issues.
According to the advocates, the stigma associated with mental health issues in the country has culminated in many people only visiting psychiatric institutions when their conditions are worse.
The psychiatric health nurses who have been on the streets of Cape Coast creating awareness say the ignorance about mental health issues ought to be dealt with aggressively through education and sensitization.
For them, stigmatization has not really helped issues about mental health and the earlier the minds of people are disabused the better.
A psychiatric health nurse at the Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital, Abraham Kwaku Agbebiam, pleads with the public not to wait till issues about their mental health get out of hand before they report to the hospital.
“The stigma associated with mental health issues has resulted to many reporting very late with serious conditions. Many thinks once you go to the psychiatric facility, then everything is wrong with you. That’s a fallacy,” he said.
Additionally, he says scenes depicted in movies on televisions have not helped matters and called for a narrative change.
“Scenes shown about mental health patients in movies are all about negativities. It’s time for a change in narrative from negativity to positivity. Their brighter sides should be exhibited so people would know that it’s not all gloomy,” he said.