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MindFreedom Calls On Gov’t To Implement Ban On Shackling Persons With Psychosocial Disabilities

MindFreedom, a non-profit organization that supports and assists persons with psychosocial disorders, has called on the government to implement and enforce the existing ban on shackling persons with psychosocial disabilities.

It also recommended that the government ensure that those who are subjected to shackling are freed and provided with appropriate support, and prosecute those responsible for torture, cruelty, and other inhumane treatment including shackling against persons with psychosocial disabilities.

These recommendations were contained in a speech delivered by Mr. Dan Taylor, the Executive Secretary of MindFreedom, when his outfit launched the Universal Periodic Review Joint Shadow Report on Human Rights in Ghana at a news conference in Accra.

MindFreedom per the report is advocating strongly for Ghana to progressively develop voluntary and accessible community-based mental health and support services in consultation with persons with psychosocial disabilities and with the support of international donors and partners.

The government of Ghana has also been urged to take urgent measures to deal with human rights abuses in prayer camps and psychiatric hospitals, stigmatisation, discrimination, involuntary admission, arbitrary detention, overcrowding, poor hygiene, solitary confinement, and restraints as well as denial of food to persons with psychosocial disabilities.

The Ministry of Finance according to the report, as a matter of urgency institute a mental health levy to resource the Mental Health Fund while the Mental Health Authority based on the recommendation of the report should lead a nationwide consultation on devising innovative strategies for domestic mobilization of financial support to resource the Fund.

The report further recommended that the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, the Ministry of Local Government, and the Mental Health Authority should review and make the multi-stakeholder district welfare committees responsible for the selection of LEAP beneficiaries transparent and inclusive for effective integration, identification, capturing and enrolment of persons with mental health conditions onto the LEAP programme.

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and Mental Health Authority per the recommendation should raise awareness of the existence of the LEAP programme as a poverty reduction mechanism for households and individuals suffering from severe mental health conditions.

The Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection, the recommendation stated, should advocate for private partnerships and investments into the fund to sustain and scale up the cash net for beneficiaries.

Capitalnewsonline has gathered that the report was a product of a rigorous nationwide consultation with 26 organizations.

The consultation took place from January to June 2022. In July same year, the consulted organizations and other key stakeholders met to validate the findings from the consultations.

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Following the validation, MindFreedom Ghana, on 14th July 2022, submitted to a joint non-governmental organization detailed Shadow Report on Mental Health Human Rights to the United Nations Human Rights Council with contributions from 25 mental health non-governmental and civil society organizations in Ghana, to aid in the review of the country.

Thereafter, the Council reviewed the report and adopted 21 of the recommendations.

Source: Adovor Nutifafa



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