UPSA commemorates World Mental Health Day 2022
The University of Professional Studies, Accra, has marked the 2022 World Mental Health Day with a clarion call on faculty, staff, and students to prioritise their mental health and general well-being.
Delivering the keynote address to commemorate this year’s event on Monday, October 10, Rev. Fr. Anthony Amponsah, a Counselling and Clinical Psychologist, observed that the rising social and economic challenges coupled with work-related stress have exposed many citizens to several mental health risks.
He explained that it is imperative for decision makers like the management of UPSA to develop a congenial interactive environment that promotes, protects, and prioritises not only the needs of people with mental health issues but the general welfare of staff and students.
He is therefore advocating for the intensification of the awareness campaigns on preventive mental health interventions while mobilising efforts to eliminate social, cultural, and work-related barriers that militate against people seeking mental health assistance.
“It is important that, as deans, HoDs, lecturers and counsellors, we create a conducive climate for our staff and students to feel safe expressing their mental health challenges,” Rev Fr Amponsah said.
“I also charge you to find innovative ways to reach out to people with mental health needs and be proactive towards their needs. Create the right connection with your staff and students so that they won’t feel shy about seeking mental health assistance,” he added.
For his part, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of UPSA, Prof Charles Barnor, said the Mental Health Day commemorations provide an opportunity for managers of institutions of higher education to revise existing policies on mental health and reflect on new measures and systems that promote awareness of mental health concerns.
He mentioned that UPSA is committed to this cause and will marshal every effort towards improving the overall well-being of its community members in order to ensure that staff and students feel mentally safe to discharge their duties.
The Deputy Registrar in charge of Counselling at UPSA, Rev Dr Stephen Acheampong, disclosed that approximately 10% of Ghanaians are estimated to be suffering from one form of mental disorder or the other.
Hence, the UPSA Mental Health Week celebration is aimed at sensitising the University community about mental health care.
In outlining some activities to commemorate the week-long event, Rev Dr Acheampong mentioned that the forum will also bring together key stakeholders in mental health to discuss issues affecting their work and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for Ghanaians.
The annual World Mental Health Day is observed globally on October 10 to promote awareness of mental health concerns and mobilise actions in support of mental health.
Locally, the day was observed with the launch of UPSA Mental Health Week under the theme, “Make mental health and well-being for all a global priority.”
It was put together by the UPSA Clinic in collaboration with the Counselling Unit of the University with support from the Ghanaian-German Centre.
Some of the activities earmarked for the week include mental health talks, the outdooring of the UPSA Health Club and Peer Counsellors, an inter-faculty quiz competition and a health walk.