A Mental Health Authority Initiative
The human rights violations and poor quality of care and support for people with mental health conditions, psychosocial and intellectual disabilities have been well documented in recent UN, Human Rights Watch and other reports. These violations are occurring in mental health services, in faith-based settings (including prayer camps) as well as in the community more generally.
There is a momentum in Ghana to improve this situation, with the introduction of a new Mental Health Act (2012), the creation of a Mental Health Authority aimed at promoting good quality and humane care through policy and integrated services, as well as activities being carried out by civil society partners to promote and protect the rights of persons with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities and mental health conditions.
In order to effectively and sustainably promote rights and recovery in all settings and at all levels, however, it is essential to improve knowledge, attitudes, and practices among all mental health and disability stakeholders, including people with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities. To date, however, widescale capacity building remains a major gap in efforts taken at the national level.
The QualityRightsin Mental Health initiative in Ghana, aims to strategically launch and roll out, over the course of 3 years, an e-training programme with online coaching on mental health, human rights and recovery – a foundation course among key mental health and disability stakeholders including service providers – in order to promote attitudes and practices that respect dignity and rights and which promote holistic, person-centered, recovery-oriented care and support. The e-training will be supplemented by face-to-face capacity building within the limits of available resources.