Mental Health Among Students – Are We Going To Forever Ignore The Topic?

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On 1st March, 2019, a group of our Foundation students organised our first Mental Health Awareness Panel Discussion on campus with the theme ‘Mental Health Among Students: Are We Going To Forever Neglect The Topic?’ 

As part of the Project Management module which all our Foundation students are required to take, they are divided into groups and tasked to undertake various projects on and off campus. In the past some of these projects have included raising funds for charities and orphanages, refurbishing of local primary schools, blood donation exercises and this group decided to embark on a project to raise awareness on the importance of Mental Health, especially among university students. 

The panel was made up of four experts in the field of Psychology:

– Dr Yvonne Otchere, LUG Psychology Lecturer

– Mrs Ethel Obeng-Treve, LUG Clinical Psychologist 

– Dr Collins Badu Agyeman, Industrial Psychologist, 

– Major Nana Yebo Agyemang, Clinical Psychologist, 37 Military Hospital 

– Dr Collins Badu Agyeman, Industrial Psychologist, University of Ghana

The event started with the showing of ‘It’s Okay’, a short film by Joseph Awuah-Darko where he highlighted his personal struggles with chronic depression, having attempted suicide 5 times over a period of 3 years. This led to the panel discussion addressing the misconceptions on mental illness in West Africa and the need to de-stigmatize what it means within a cultural and religious context.   

During the discussion students were reminded about the resources available to them, and encouraged to take advantage of them. Mrs Obeng-Treve (LUG Counsellor) reminded students of her availability and reassured them that anything they share during sessions with the Psychologist are confidential, so they could feel comfortable to share whatever struggles they were facing, no matter how personal.

We were also privileged to have Mr Vincent Odotei Sowah, Deputy Minister for Communications and MP for La Dadekotopon present, who also shared his views on mental health, and officially launched the students’ online Mental Health Awareness Campaign.

After the discussion there was a question and answer session where students were given the opportunity to have all their questions answered by the psychologists.