“Mental Illness Not Death Sentence” — Dr. Augustina Naami

Senior lecturer and head of the social work department of the university of Ghana, Dr. Augustina Naami has said mental health illness is not a death sentence and that societal disapproval of people battling with these health issues must stop.

At the official launch of Mentors foundation’s Project 2024, held at the Maison Francaise Auditorium, University of Ghana on February 24, 2024, the senior lecturer and advocate for betterment of human welfare delivered a powerful speech emphasizing the importance of mental health awareness, Dr. Naami conveyed a crucial message: “Mental Illness is not a death sentence. “Senior lecturer and head of the social work department of the university of Ghana.

Highlighting the prevalence of mental health issues in Ghana, Dr. Naami revealed a staggering statistic: an estimated 3.1 million Ghanaians live with mental health conditions, indicating a significant portion of the population grappling with these challenges.

In her address, Dr. Naami urged families and caregivers of individuals diagnosed with mental illness to provide unwavering support, stressing the pivotal role of familial bonds in the recovery journey. She emphasized that nurturing close relationships with those afflicted can profoundly impact their healing process.

Moreover, Dr. Naami shed light on the interconnected nature of social categorizations of mental illness with disability, gender, aging, and other vulnerabilities. She elucidated how these intersecting factors can complicate individuals’ experiences and hinder their access to essential resources and support systems. Drawing attention to the obstacles faced by individuals with disabilities, she noted the additional barriers — physical, informational, and communicative — that impede their access to mental health service.

Furthermore, Dr. Naami addressed the pervasive issue of stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness, particularly concerning individuals with disabilities. She emphasized that societal prejudices worsen the stigma already associated with mental health conditions, resulting in social isolation and diminished opportunities for employment and social integration.

Dr. Naami’s impassioned plea for heightened awareness and support for mental health issues underscores the critical need for collective action. By fostering understanding, compassion, and inclusivity, she advocates for a society where individuals struggling with mental illness can find solace, acceptance, and the resources they need to thrive.
As Dr. Naami eloquently stated, “Mental illness is not a death sentence,” and with concerted efforts towards education, advocacy, and reform, we can create a brighter, more inclusive future for all.

Mentors Foundation Ghana — a nongovernmental organization which seeks for the betterment of humanity has partnered with the University of Ghana, Legon to champion Mental Health awareness campaign, prisons reform initiatives and others.

Bernard Ofori-Atta, the front-liner of this great initiative speaking to the media highlighted that the ‘galloping’ rate of the canker has undermined the growth of individuals, organizations and even the country as a whole. He called on corporate organizations and other nongovernmental organizations to come on board to amplify this great initiative.

“It’s obvious that our [mentors foundation Ghana] strength alone can’t accomplish this great mission so, we implore people from all walks of life including government institutions, private institutions, Churches and other nonprofit organizations with same or similar ideas to come on board to execute this project together” he told the media.

According to him, with the inclusion of professional health practitioners, psychologists and counselors, this mental health project will be taken to schools, churches and other key places to ensure that the objective is achieved. Starting from the university of Ghana, there will be lots of sessions for students where these professionals will engage them in conversations concerning this course.

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