Chief psychiatrist Dr. Akwasi Osei has revealed that superstition still remains a major challenge facing healthcare providers in combating psychiatry problems in Ghana.
According to Dr. Osei, in spite of efforts by the Ghana Health Service, the Mental Health Authority and NGOs in the mental health sector, many people still have the notion that mental problems were more superstitious than medical.
The attitude and behaviour of relatives of mentally ill people, he observed, are hampering the efforts of healthcare providers in the country.
Speaking on 3FM’s Sunrise last week, Dr. Osei stated that Ghanaians do take their religiosity to superstitious dimensions which, he lamented, goes as far as hampering development as a nation.
“I was on a chat with a friend this morning who sees everything as ordained so somebody wakes up in the morning and feels there is some evil doings acting against him or even when he stumbles he believes its evidence that something unforeseen is going to happen.
“I think the problem is that we just don’t recognise that these are mental health problems and we tend to spiritualise everything”.
According to him issues which can be explained on scientific basis end up being spiritualised by being explained on religious basis
“We are religious but we take our religiosity to superstitious dimensions and that to me is a big worry and hampering our development as a nation”.
‘A lot of stress’
He was concerned a lot of stress is having a toll on the high cases of psychiatry recorded in the country.
“There is a lot of stress in the society and a study a few years ago shows that about 41% of Ghanaians are under one form of psychological distress and out of this 41%, 19% are significant enough to cause the mental disorders.
“That is really serious because the least provocation then they will go into tantrum and these things like killing somebody or killing himself and going through”.
By Nana Afrane Asante|3news.com|Ghana