We (the Participants attending the stakeholders meeting):
HAVING deliberated extensively, in a cordial atmosphere, on alternatives to financing community mental health, within the context of the theme for the meeting, “Ensuring ways and approaches to financing community mental health by duty bearers”:
IN EXERCISE of our natural rights and freedom, as key stakeholders to contribute to discussions on community mental health financing;
AWARE of the immense stigma and discrimination as well as the neglect of mental health which reflects the paltry allocation of funds usually made to support programmes in the sector;
REALISNG THAT persons with mental illness and epilepsy have problems or challenges peculiar to them including socio-cultural barriers and misconceptions which continue to hinder efforts at re-integration of persons with mental illness into communities;
NOTING THAT for speedy socio-economic development the country needs to harness all human resources including those of stabilized persons with mental illness and epilepsy and their carers;
WHEREAS some non-government organizations, notably BasicNeeds Ghana and the Mental Health Society of Ghana, have done considerable work by way of facilitating treatment, advocacy, coordination and resource mobilization for persons with mental illness and epilepsy, greater level of financing mental health is urgently required.
CONVINCED THAT the situation of persons with mental illness and epilepsy and their carers can be better addressed by empowering them and by getting them involved in government and/or donor-funded programmes.
DO HEREBY RESOLVE AS FOLLOWS THAT:
- Corporate Ghana and Religious Bodies consider supporting mental health by contributing to the Mental Health Fund as part of their corporate social responsibility. This is based on participants’ firm conviction that when corporate Ghana supports mental health, the intervention will immensely help raise the standard of living of people with mental illness and their carers.
- Mental Health needs to be consciously included in general health resources development. For instance, we the participants are of the firm opinion that when funds or medicines are being sought from donor or external grant for general health programmes, people in authority should be minded to make mental health an essential part of the agenda.
- We the participants, associate ourselves with sections of the Mental Health Law that makes provision for seed money for the Mental Health Fund. Recognizing that Government commitment to resourcing the Mental Health Fund is crucial if we are to witness any improvement in financing Community Mental Healthcare.
- Government would employ an efficient public finance system that identifies and target the rich in society and taxing them to subsidize the poor – a case of the healthy section of society subsidizing the sick.
- A more encompassing social insurance scheme that includes all mental health conditions be instituted as a matter of urgency to include psychotropic medicines.
AGREED BY THE FOLLOWING:
Iddrisu Fatawu – National President – 0203650354
Martha Coffie – Vice President – 0278218780