Ghanaian Culture & Mental Health (#World Mental Health Day)

 Ghanaian State Of Mind_Documentary

October 10th marks #WorldMentalHealthDay which is really a day where organisations and individuals join forces to help raise awareness about Mental Health and continue to remove stigma around the subject.

This year (2014) MyGhanaRoots has decided to join in the conversation, exploring the subject and the relationship between Ghanaian culture and the perceptions of Mental Health.  We’ve teamed up with Counsellor Abigail Baah and Narrow Path Films to create a film which involved interviews with Ghanaian mental health professionals, pastors, counsellors the general Ghanaian community and people that have suffered from mental health.

Below is an interview with Counsellor Abigail Baah on the subject and the documentary ‘Ghanaian State Of Mind’.

Interview with Counsellor: Ghanaian Culture & Mental Health

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Abigail Baah – UK based Counsellor

Abigail Baah was born in Ghana and works in the UK as a fully qualified counsellor, with a specialism in therapeutic work with children.   Abigail’s passion for counselling as well a desire for the engagement of more people in therapeutic services, lead to her involvement in a project that would combine the subject of mental health and the Ghanaian community.

MGRThe documentary sounds very interesting. Will you be getting the perspectives of Ghanaians who are based in Ghana or just UK based Ghanaians?

 

Abigail: The documentary will include the perspectives of both UK based Ghanaians and Ghanaians living in Ghana. I had the wonderful privilege of travelling to Ghana and interviewing and filming different mental health professionals, students as well as other people living in Ghana. While in Ghana I also ran a workshop with the Kintampo Project as well as the Progressive Life Center Ghana.

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MGRSo without giving too much away, what can we expect to gain from watching the film?

Abigail: You can expect great insight into the subject of mental health from Ghana, hear the lived experience of people with mental health conditions, better awareness on treatment and the influence of Ghanaian culture on the treatment of mental health conditions.

 

MGR: You sound like a very dedicated counsellor. Why do you think counselling is so important?

 Abigail: Counselling offers such a great source of support to individuals at different points in their lives, it gives people an opportunity to work through a range of difficulties which affect an individual’s wellbeing with a trained professional.

 

MGR: How can people interested in getting counselling go about getting some, here and in Ghana.

 Abigail: The UK has many sources for counselling, including GP referrals, private counselling services. A range of charities also offer great links and information on mental health including Mind and Mental Health Foundation, Time To Change . I have a private counselling practice based in London also. For information please click the link below. http://www.cherishcounsellingpractice.co.uk/services/

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 MGRClearly the UK has much more resources available for mental health related illnesses. What resources are available for those based in Ghana?

 Abigail: In Ghana there are three main psychiatric hospitals. During my visit to Ghana, I had the opportunity to see first-hand the work of one organisation which offers a great depth and insight into the subject of mental health- The Kintampo Project. I am also aware of the wealth of research and work in mental health by Basic Needs and Progressive Life Center (two other companies based in Ghana).

 
MGR: What do you think is needed to improve the situation and what can we do?

 Abigail: More information sharing, education about the subject of mental health, workshops, and enabling more people to have access to information and support.

 

For those interested in hearing more about the experiences of Ghanaians in the UK and who are based in Ghana surrounding mental health, as well as interviews with mental health professionals, please SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel

 The trailer for the documentary can be viewed here with the full film to follow later in the month.

 

Please share this article and trailer across social media and join in on the conversation on Facebook and Twitter by tweeting @Myghanaroots @NarrowPathFilms @ccpcounselling and the hashtags #GhanaianStateOfMind #WorldMentalHealthDay

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