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We’ve overly medicalized mental illness – Psychiatrist

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Mental Health Authority, Dr. Akwasi Osei, has explained that not all mental illnesses require medication, and that ample time should be taken to uniquely address each mental case as it should, before resorting to medication, which sometimes tend to have grave effects.

According to him, “we have overly medicalized our mental health problems. Mental health is just not the biological individual, but also, psycho-social issues. So it goes beyond medical problems to development. So we laying so much emphasis on just the medical component to the neglect of the other aspects, is over-medicalizing it.”

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show as part of the Mental Health Week themed, ‘Mental Health In The Workplace’, Dr. Osei described the situation as “problematic.”

He opined that some mental illnesses can be managed, and even cured with occupational therapy, psychotherapy, art therapy or even through conversations, adding that there are over 300 different types of mental illnesses with more than eight percent of the workforce having at least one type of mental illness.

He further noted that, mental health treatment has been overly centralized in the southern part of the country to the neglect of the other areas.

He noted that, even with that, these treatment centres are under-resourced and understaffed. He thus urged government to invest in mental health awareness and treatment across the country.

By: Marie-Franz Fordjoe/citifmonline/Ghana