Focusing on the young people in a changing world was the theme given to 2018 World’s Mental Health Day.
In light of this, Mensah Mental Health Rehabilitation Project (MEMHREP) with the joint effort of Ejisu Psychiatric Unit and the Government Schools celebrated the day with a Durbar ceremony organised in the Ejisu Municipality in the Ashanti Region of Kumasi.
The Durbar event which took place on the 12th of October, 2018 had series of ‘before ’preparations, and thus crowning it on the said date.
There were various cultural activities that took place including the splendid performance of dancing and drumming as part of the opening ceremony by Bonwire S.H.S Kete group, as well as a quiz on mental health related issues participated by 8 secondary schools in the Municipality .
For the past seven (7) years, MEMHREP led by Mr Adu-Gyamfi, the Chief Executive Officer assisted by dedicated volunteers and health workers poised in mental health and mental illness related issues, had been educating in the municipality amongst others are schools and churches on the need to remain mentally healthy.
The education tasked the management of the NGO to address the indigenes of Ejisu through the Durbar Ceremony bringing to light their hard efforts.
The programme was graced by many important personalities which included Nana Afrane Okesse IV, Paramount Chief of Ejisu Traditional area with an escort from Queen mother, as well as Baffour Agyei Kesse IV (Adumhene).
Other important dignitaries were the MCE of Ejisu, Madam Serwaa Derkye, the head of Psychiatric Unit of Ejisu Government Hospital, the heads of public and private schools, heads of markets association, business leaders like Agyaba, Kessben and many more were also invited to support the great course .
Pupils and Students from various schools around Ejisu Municipality also added beauty to the ceremony.
In brief, the CEO gave the purpose of the gathering.
He emphasised on the need to carefully rehabilitate persons with mental illness who have been neglected on the street; and then reintegrate them back into the community.
In view of this intention, he appealed to the government the urgent need to support and facilitate this project by assisting in the building of rehabilitation centre to serve as a source of abode to those neglected victims of various circumstances.
He concluded by calling on board the attendees of the event to assist in lifting the banner of MEMHREP high because the vision of the organisation have come to stay.
Because in spite of the logistical challenges occasionally faced by the organisation, they will continue to support the mentally ill whole-heartedly.
There was a drama, performed by the mental health nurses from Ejisu Gov’t Hospital.
This role play focused on how we normally treat mental cases in our home and how we easily result to over-spirituality rather than seeking medical assistance.
Mrs. Millicent Nyamekye (the Mental Health Coordinator of Ejisu-Juaben District), educated the public on the causes of mental disorders including drug abuse, alcoholism, stress, and domestic violence.
She further entreated the attendees to seek help from a psychiatry hospital and the experts not any other alternative when required.
Mental disorders can be managed or cured and she advised those on medication to stick to dosage as prescribed in order to avoid any possible relapse.
Mrs Nyamekye finally advised all to avoid stigmatising and discriminating persons with mental health needs since we are all vulnerable to mental instability.
The C.E.O of Willingways Rehabilitation Centre, Mrs Lydia Manu, made the public understand Tramadol per say is not a bad drug, in fact it is a good drug meant to reduce severe pains and serves as anaesthesia.
Unfortunately some of the youth in the country have been abusing the drug by taking overdose just to satisfy their drug addiction. She therefore advised the youth not to take any drug that has not been prescribed by a medical professional.
On behalf of the government, Madam Serwaa Derkye (the MCE of Ejisu) appreciated the extent MEMHREP went to bring such an event within the municipality, and that the Government is ready to support the organisation but currently has limited resources.
She further stated the municipality would welcome with open arms anytime MEMHREP calls on them.
She finally advised the youth especially those present against the use of illegal drugs.
The Ejisu chief in the person of Nana Afrane Okese spoke on behalf of other chiefs present.
As the custodians of the area, he also appreciated the hard work and determination of MEMHREP to reach out to every person concerned especially in their Municipality.
He went on to commend the schools and hospitals for such an alliance and vehemently urged all students present to seize this opportunity to learn, thus desisting from the abuse of drugs and truancy which may lead to future unemployment hence poverty and distress.
Adding to his speech, he addressed all stakeholders of education to form an important and integral part of child upbringing.
Concluding, he openly supported MEMHREP’s mission and appealed to other traditional rulers, governments, businesses, religious bodies and individuals in the country and abroad the relevance of such events and the need to support in cash or in kind.
Through this event the organisation was able to reach out and educate the general public and young people on mental health preventions as the theme of the programme.
It is believed that young people who would have possibly taken narcotic drugs present or future will now avoid these drugs as a result of this awareness event.
People were also educated on how to avoid causes of mental illness and also seek help from MEMHREP Ghana at the early stages by visiting www.memhrep.org or 00233 (0)248762692.