Alcoholism is currently a major cause of mental health disorders in the Brong-Ahafo Region, Mr Joseph Yere, the Regional Mental Health Coordinator, said at the weekend.
He said instances of such cases were gaining alarming proportions and appealed for concerted efforts and decisive action to deal with the excessive intake of alcohol among the youth.
Speaking at a stakeholders meeting in Sunyani, Mr Yere said out of the about 4,000 cases of mental illnesses recorded in the region from January to June this year, 403 cases were due to alcoholism.
He said other substances abuse such as tramadol and Indian hemp were also contributory factors to the current state of mental health in the region.
He said epilepsy, particularly among children, recorded 1,405 cases, schizophrenia- 1,098 and bipolar disorders- 518.
The meeting, which was organised by the MIHOSO International Foundation and Basic Needs- Ghana, was attended by District and Municipal Directors of Health and aimed at sensitising the participants on a mental health project being implemented by the two NGOs in the region.
With support from STAR-Ghana and its development partners, the 36-month project titled “Accessible and Quality Mental Health Care for Poor and Marginalised Persons with Mental Disorders”, is aimed at improving community mental health treatment through increased funding to the mental health service.
It is being implemented in Tano North, Sunyani, Techiman and Berekum Municipalities as well as Techiman North and Sunyani West Districts of Brong-Ahafo.
Mr Yere expressed regret that mental health problems were surging in the region and called for concerted efforts to tackle it.
He said depression among women because of broken homes and marital problems were also high and appealed to the general public to report cases of mental illness and also support patients to seek medical attention.
Mr Thomas Benarkuu, the Director of Programmes of MIHOSO, said the 36-month project also seeks to advocate for funding for mental health and appealed to the project implementing communities to support it.