Hope for Future Generations and The PsyKForum have formed a consortium to promote mental health and disability inclusion in Ghana.
The two organizations have been awarded a grant from Ghana Somubi Dwumadie (Ghana Participation Programme) for the activities for the next three years commencing 26th April, 2021 and ending on 31stDecember, 2023.
The consortium said its work will support efforts to remove all barriers and stigma against persons with disability, including mental health conditions.
The executive director of Hope For Future Generations (HFFG), Cecila Senoo at the launch of the programme said there is the need for key collaborations especially at the local level to ensure that the project leaves significant impact on its target group and beneficiaries.
According to her, local authorities and queen mothers will play a vital role towards the success of the project.
“You can only sustain your program when you work with community structures, without them, when you implement activities, that ends it. The beauty is that, they [queen mothers] are ready to work and ready to partner. If queen mothers with their social control in our society, they will be able to help us fight stigma and persons with disability including mental health disability.”
Madam Senoo further called for a close collaboration between all stakeholders to ensure that success of the project.
The grants advisor at Ghana Somubi Dwumadie, Lawrence Akubori said with two million Ghanaians estimated to be living with a form of disability, it is important to defeat stigma and discrimination and build a supportive and friendly environmental for all.
“The data that is available shows that we have more than two million people with disabilities in Ghana per the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection data, 20% of Ghana’s population have some form of disability. The above statistics mean that we are all vulnerable. The launch of this program is therefore timely… It will address stigma and discrimination at all levels,” he said.
He added that, “to ensure that stigma and discrimination is reduced in Ghana, and a supportive environment is created with persons with disabilities including persons with mental health conditions, a strong partnership is needed. A partnership between the Ghana of Ghana, non-governmental organization and civil society organizations at large… We therefore also need a strong partner between duty bearers, religious and traditional leaders, health practitioners, local authorities and communities.”
Mr. Akubori further expressed appreciation to HFFG and The PsyKForum for their commitment to the project.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates disability prevalence in Ghana at 12.8%
This according to the Ministry of health the number continues to rise due to demographic trends and increase in chronic health conditions, among other causes.
Ghana signed, ratified and adopted various international agreements and implemented a number of policies and programmes that protect the fundamental freedoms of all Persons with Disabilities (PWD’s), promote and respect their inherent dignity and make provisions that safeguard their rights.
The project grant was provided by the UK Government through UKAID.
The goal of the project is to reduce negative and discriminatory attitudes, behaviours and norms faced by people with disabilities in Ghana, including people with mental health conditions.
The project objective will be implemented in four regions, namely Greater Accra, Central, North East and Savannah, and in 18 districts in the country.
Hope for Future Generations (HFFG) and The PsyKForum will work together with Persons with disability and mental health conditions, families and caregivers of persons with disabilities and mental health conditions, traditional and religious leaders, health workers, the media, state agencies.