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Traditional authorities urged to support the mentally challenged | 25th August, 2017

The Gub- Katimali Society, a Tamale based NGO has appealed to Traditional Authorities to support the mentally challenged in their respective areas to improve their welfare.
Sheikh Yakubu Abdul-Kareem, the Director of Gub- Katimali Society, who made the appeal on Wednesday during a two-day sensitization workshop indicated that traditional authorities were custodians of societies and that their involvement in the upkeep of the mentally challenged was necessary.
The training workshop for the traditional authorities was meant to orientate them on common mental disorders and human rights to increase knowledge for a change of mindset about the mentally challenged.
The UKaid, funded the two-day workshop which brought together the traditional authorities from the Tamale Metropolis, Tolon, Kumbungu and Sagnerigu districts as well as the Savelugu/Nanton Municipality to discuss challenges people with mental health face.
The initiative by the Gub- Katimali Society in partnership with BasicNeeds- Ghana is also aimed at educating traditional authorities in the various districts on mental illness and how to help integrate them into the society.
 Sheikh Abdul-Kareem said the intervention of Gub- Katimali Society in the districts had yielded positive results regarding issues of broken marriages and school dropout especially pupils who suffer from epilepsy and other mental disorders.
He pleaded with the traditional authorities to refer mentally ill persons to the appropriate authorized health care facilities for treatment.
Mr Asigri Na-Waaf, a Principal Nursing Officer at the Tamale Central Hospital, said traditional authorities should encourage societies to accept mentally ill persons to be integrated in community rather than stigmatize and discriminate against them.
He indicated that “One among every four persons is likely to suffer some form of mental disorder” hence people with mental health problems should be given equal opportunity in societies to build on their capabilities.
Mr Traugott Kpadangble, a community development officer, said the psychiatric units in various hospitals in the region were not well equipped and called on the appropriate authorities to address the situation with urgency.

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