Clinical Health Psychologist and Acting Director of the University of Professional Studies Accra (UPSA), Dr. Isaac Newman Arthur has suggested that tertiary institutions should introduce a mental health course to reduce mental health problems in the country.
In addressing a question on the need for the introduction of a course on emotional intelligence in universities, Dr. Newman Arthur said a required course on mental health and lifestyle in general should be introduced to first-year students, even if it will be a credit course. This, he said, will be a step forward in the right direction.
“It is not only emotional intelligence but a course on mental health and lifestyle should be introduced. Everybody as part of the compulsory courses in the first year will take such a course even if it is one credit hour.”
Dr. Arthur, who also functions as the Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Psychological Association, spoke on suicide as an issue of societal concern.
He added that persons who are suicidal are not bad people but are facing a health issue that needs medical assistance.
“Anybody who is suicidal should know that they are not bad people, or weak, or morally corrupt. It is a health problem you are facing that needs medical attention.”
He also spoke on ways to prevent suicide in Ghana as part of ways to create more awareness on suicide prevention.
Figures from the Ghana Psychological Association show about 750,000 people die by suicide yearly worldwide. One person dies by suicide every 40 seconds, and at the same time, about 20 more people attempt suicide.
The World Health Organization, WHO, has set aside September as a suicide prevention month to create more awareness on suicide prevention. This year’s theme, “Creating Hope Through Action” signifies that suicide is a public health problem with far-reaching social, emotional, and economic consequences.
Story by : Frimpong Collins | univers.ug.edu.gh