The Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Justice Samuel Adjei, has advised the public to seek medical treatment for family members and friends with mental health problems at a health facility before sending them to prayer camps.
He pointed out that it is better to seek early treatment at a health facility before the situation deteriorates.
Mr Adjei gave the advice when he cut the sod for work to begin on a GHC50, 000 Mental Health Unit at the Sunyani Municipal Hospital in Sunyani.
He expressed concern about the condition of mental health patients at prayer camps, some of whom had been chained to trees when drugs are available to treat them, adding that, “prayer is good but has to be done well to make a positive impact.”
Mr Adjei urged relatives of mental health patients and the public to accept them back into society after treatment and also support them.
Mr Joseph Yere, Brong Ahafo Regional Coordinator of Mental health, noted that, most of the mental patients especially the youth, return to the psychiatric unit sometimes in worse condition due to drug abuse.
He explained that the patients leave the unit well and normal but return to drugs abuse to worsen their conditions.
“Most of the mentally deranged people roaming the streets have been treated, some were referred to the Pantang hospital but were later seen on the streets with the same or worse conditions because of drugs abuse,” Mr Yere added.
He advised family members to endeavour to get closer to mental patients after treatment and monitor them to stay away from drugs.
Mr Gabriel Benarkuu, Executive Director of Mission of Hope, an NGO on Mental Health, appealed to individuals and philanthropists to assist in bringing quality health services to mental patients in the municipality.