Improving the Mental Health Treatment Gap in Ghana

"Mental health in Ghana, like most other developing countries, is severely under-funded by the national government and international donors. The mental disorder treatment gap (percentage of people with untreated illness) is estimated at 98 percent. Health professionals that treat mental health in Ghana, such as community nurses and pharmacists, lack proper training but have become the default practitioners in dealing with illnesses. Other options, such as traditional healers, abound, but expose patients to unsafe treatments and practices. Mental health policies in Ghana favour those living in urban areas in the South of the country, where all major treatment centres are located. More resources need to be allocated towards the problem in general, and with more equitable distribution across the country."