Professor Joseph Osafo, Head of Psychology at the University of Ghana, has called on the Government of Ghana to decriminalize mental health issues.
Contributing to ”Kokrokoo” on Peace FM, Prof. Joseph Osafo expressed worry over the imprisonment of people with mental problems, particularly those who attempt to commit suicide.
Ghana’s laws do not permit any person to attempt to take his own life and such people are liable to a jail sentence.
The Criminal Code of Ghana (Act 29 of Ghana, Section 57; Subsection II, 1960) states that “whoever attempts to commit suicide shall be guilty of a misdemeanour”.
Therefore, a person who attempts suicide is subject to arrest and prosecution, and faces criminal sanctions.
But the Senior Psychologist says it is unhelpful to convict people with mental challenges, stressing what they need is psychological counselling.
According to him, there a lot of people in prisons across the country who don’t have to be imprisoned but rather what they need is a mental health expert to take them through therapeutic sessions to heal and reform them.
Prof. Osafo said this as the world marks ”World Suicide Prevention Day” this week.
“. . instead of sending them to jail or fining them, let’s consider helping such people…You cannot build a healthy nation without a healthy mind. We need all the things that we’re talking about. We need the roads, everything but it doesn’t augur well for us if we don’t take steps to improve the mental health of people,” he insisted.
Extranewsgh.com is not responsible for the reportage or opinions of contributors published on the website. Read our disclaimer.
Send Your News Stories and General Inquiries to email@example.com or Whatsapp: 0206386139