The Mental Health Authority has called on Ghanaians to generously donate to support the mental health fund to help facilitate the efficient treatment and rehabilitation of mental patients in the country.
The Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) as well as the security agencies should also support the Authority to remove mentally challenged persons from the streets.
Mr Yaw Amankwa Arthur, Deputy Director in-charge of Health Promotion at the Mental Health Authority, who made the call, said it was time all stakeholders came together to address the issue of high number of mentally challenge persons on the streets of cities and towns of the country.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi, he said the Authority was financially handicapped and would not be able to remove all the mentally ill persons from the streets alone.
He said the establishment of the mental health fund under the Mental Health Act, was to help mobilize financial resources to treat, rehabilitate and reintegrate cured patients into society.
This, Mr Arthur said, called for the effective contribution from members of the public to make the fund sustainable to be able to cater for the needs of the rising number of mental patients in the country.
Concerns have in recent times been raised about the high number of mentally challenged persons taken over the streets of the main cities and towns in the country.
This has become a security challenge which needs to be dealt with before the situation gets out of hand.
The Mental Health Authority says it is concerned about the problem, especially, about the safety of the public and even the safety of the mentally challenged persons themselves.
However, the main problem, according to Mr Arthur, is inadequate funding to help remove, treat, and reintegrate them into society.
He said most of the mentally challenged individuals were becoming aggressive and could harm anyone that crosses their path.
A typical example he cited, was what happened at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra recently, where a mentally challenged person killed a passer-by.
Some of them, he said are also seen in very intimate ways in some of the streets making who are passing uncomfortable.
Mr Arthur said it would take not less than GH ₵10,000 for the Authority to take one mentally challenged person out of the streets for rehabilitation and reintegration into the society.
He, therefore, called on all Ghanaians to help address this canker by making generous contributions to the mental health fund to remove and treatment the patients.