BasicNeeds-Ghana led the Alliance for Mental Health and Development (Mental Health Alliance), a civil society network of some 120 NGOs/CBOs in Ghana, to carry out a series of activities to mark the 2019 World Mental Day (#WMHD2019) with funding support from UK aid. The activities were undertaken to promote the 'Speak Your Mind' Campaign, a global mental health advocacy initiative led by the United for Global Mental Health organisation, and led in Ghana by BasicNeeds-Ghana.
It has come to light that most Ghanaians might be willing to be levied in order to support mental health services in Ghana. This came to light from a Facebook poll conducted on the organisation’s Facebook page between 29th August to 4th September 2019. Poll participants were asked if they would be willing to pay GHȻ0.50p extra on their favourite beverage to help finance mental health services in Ghana.
The Alliance for Mental Health and Development, made up of civil society actors in mental health, held a national meeting in Accra on Wednesday, 18th September 2019 under the theme "Improving Mental Health Policy and Service in Ghana" . The meeting was funded by UK aid. In attendance were representatives of regional alliances of mental health and development from Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Greater Accra, Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Central Regions.
BasicNeeds-Ghana, on August 29, 2019, organised an inter-ministerial forum which brought together heads of key ministries and government agencies to discuss sustainable ways of financing community mental health in Ghana. This forum was a follow-up to an earlier one that was held in April 2018. The forum formed part of activities of a STAR-Ghana Foundation funded project titled “Accessible and Quality Mental Health Care for Poor and Marginalised Persons with Mental Disorders.”
School Health Education Programme (SHEP) Coordinators from the Tishegu Anglican Primary School ‘A’, numbering four (4), have undergone a two-day facilitator’s training on the Multiple Family Group (Dang-Malgu) Manual at BasicNeeds-Ghana’s office in Tamale. The training forms part of the Strengthening Mental Health and Research Training in Africa (SMART-AFRICA) Study, adapted in Ghana as Dang Malgu, which is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and jointly implemented by BasicNeeds-Ghana, the School of Public Health of the University of Ghana and the University of Washington in St Louis, USA.
On June 14, 2019, the Department for International Development led a visit of development partners to Accra Psychiatric Hospital and to a community mental health peer support group in Jamestown. The Department for International Development (DFID) of the UK Government has, for many years now, supported the development of mental health services aimed at improving the lives of people with mental health issues in Ghana. The visit was, therefore, meant to showcase UK aid’s contribution towards eliminating stigma people with mental illness face and improving availability and access to psychological help for those who need it.
BasicNeeds-Ghana has successfully ended the first phase of a dry season gardening project funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Adaptation Fund. Activities of the first phase of the project, titled: “Promoting Gardening for Improved Mental Health Outcomes and Productivity in Northern Ghana”, started in May 2018 and came to an end in April 2019.
United for Global Mental Health (UGMH) is an initiative that brings together campaigners, strategic partners, funders and mental health experts from around the world to promote global efforts towards prioritising mental health services. It is leading a campaign titled #SpeakYourMind which calls on governments around the world to do more to prioritise and provide necessary resources to run mental health services in their respective countries. The #SpeakYourMind Campaign is calling on all well-meaning people to use the opportunity provided by the 72nd World Health Assembly going on in Geneva from May 20 to 24, 2019, to impress upon their governments to do more to improve the mental health situation in their respective countries.
A forum has been held in Accra to disseminate key findings from a study on torture and organised violence that people with psycho-social disability suffer in prayer camps, homes of traditional healers and within the domestic setting. The study forms part of a pilot project funded by DINGNITY - Danish Institute Against Torture, titled "Building informed grounds for rehabilitation of survivors of Torture and Organised Violence". The study was conducted in Zabzugu District of the Northern Region by BasicNeeds-Ghana and in Ga West Municipality of the Greater Accra Region by the Mental Health Society of Ghana (MEHSOG).
BasicNeeds-Ghana, as a development advocate for inclusion of all marginalised population groups is happy to associate itself with the theme of this year's International Women's Day celebration - Better the Balance, Better the World. We believe women have a very critical role to play in the development of our world and therefore need to be granted access to the same opportunities as their male counterparts. We believe this will be a catalyst for the development the world needs and craves.
A week-long training is underway in Tamale to train primary stakeholders of the Maternal Mental Health Project funded by UK aid. The project, titled “Enhancing Maternal Mental Health of 29,520 pregnant women and mothers and their children to realise maternal and child health in Ghana” is intended to address mental health needs of women within the maternal and child healthcare service delivery system. Facilitators are from UK’s National Health Service (NHS).
BasicNeeds-Ghana has re-launched the UK aid funded Maternal Mental Health project during a well attended ceremony at the British Council in Accra on November 28, 2018. The five-year project, titled "Enhancing Maternal Mental Health of 29520 pregnant women, mothers and their children to realise maternal and child health in Ghana", seeks to improve the maternal and child health of poor and vulnerable pregnant women and new mothers and their children as a way of improving their quality of life.
On November 30, 2018, BasicNeeds-Ghana convened a meeting with the Greater Accra Regional Alliance for Mental Health and Development as part of a UK funded Maternal Mental Health project titled "Enhancing Maternal Mental Health of 29520 pregnant women, mothers and their children to realise maternal and child health in Ghana". The purpose of the meeting was to discuss with alliance members ways in which they could incorporate maternal mental health in their programming as civil society organisations and individuals interested in mental health development.
BasicNeeds-Ghana has begun consultations on the development of its new country strategic plan for the period 2019 to 2023. The process, which is funded by UK aid, will help the organisation come out with a comprehensive strategy and plan of action for the next five (5) years. This five-year country strategic plan, when finalised, will be the third developed by BasicNeeds-Ghana. The process is led by Shamwill Issah, a consultant with vast experience in development work, programming, strategy and fundraising.