Mental Health Issues and Challenges in Northern Region of Ghana: Practitioners Perspectives.

Author(s): Peter Mintir Amadu, Rejoice Enyonam Hoedoafia.

Mental health is a critical aspect of overall well-being, influencing an individual's emotional, psychological, biological and social functioning. The Northern Region of Ghana faces a growing concern regarding mental health issues, which has garnered increased attention in recent years. This paper explores the prevalent mental health challenges in the Northern Region, highlighting the factors contributing to their rise and the obstacles in effectively addressing them from the perspective of practicing psychologists. The Northern Region encompasses diverse communities with unique cultural, economic, and social backgrounds. amist these diversities, there also exist common mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, substance used disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD, adjustment disorder and stress-related disorders among others have become widespread concerns in the region. Contributing to this rise are various factors, including socioeconomic disparities, limited access to mental health services, low level of mental health literacy and stigma surrounding mental health. Moreover, environmental stressors, such as harsh weather conditions and geographic isolation in some areas, may exacerbate mental health problems. Challenges in addressing mental health issues in the Northern Region are multi-faceted. Among the primary obstacles are inadequate human resource, lack of funding, low level of mental health literacy, increased cases of mental health conditions, physical and mental health cormobidities, stigma and discrimination, prevalent cases of sexual and gender based voilent (SGBV) and limited mental health infrastructure among others. These have the potential to impact indviduals, families and society negatively needing attention from policy makers.

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