Psychological Association of Ghana commend Parliament for decriminalizing attempted suicide

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The Criminal Offences Act 1960 (Act 29), as amended, has been applauded by the Psychological Association of Ghana for decriminalizing attempted suicide in the country.

Since anyone who tries suicide is assumed to have a serious mental illness and can receive psychological therapy under the provisions of the Mental Health Act, the organization thinks decriminalizing attempted suicide was long overdue.

Suicidal attempt prosecution will no longer be allowed under the new Amendment Act, despite the fact that it is still a serious public health issue.

Dr. Richmond Aquah-Coleman, the general secretary of the association, stated that the recent continuous rise in suicide instances in Ghana calls for an immediate response to the problem.

On Thursday, March 30, 2023, Dr. Richmond Acquah-Coleman announced the news over the phone to Kaakyire Kwasi Afari of Koforidua’s Afeema FM.

According to data, adolescents and children under the age of 18 commit suicide because they lack access to psychologists and other mental health professionals who can help them with their problems.

Dr. Coleman cautioned the youth to seek appropriate therapy instead of considering suicide as a solution to their problems.

“It’s not proper to think that when you have depression and distress, the ultimate thing is that you go and take your life since you cannot recover your life back. Suicide is not a solution to your problems,” he told Kaakyire Kwasi Afari.

Dr. Richmond Acquah-Coleman listed a number of upsetting situations that could lead to or precipitate suicide, including losing a loved one to death or divorce, feeling like a failure in school, stigmatization, and encounters with prejudice, seclusion, and neglect.

Dr. Acquah-Coleman has meanwhile urged the government to increase spending in mental health as part of a collective effort to eliminate suicide cases in our community.

It’s crucial to give both parts of your well-being priority, he insisted.

According to the Authority, the government must support better access to psychotropic medications, sufficient financing, the hiring of more psychiatric experts, and the expansion of mental health facilities across the nation.

He again called on all stakeholders to rise up to the challenge to spend at least a minute to educate and support people to increase information and support so as to help eliminate suicide and save lives.

Dr. Coleman said, “The problem is in our part of the world mental health is attached with religious implications; when someone is mentally ill, we think it is a spiritual thing or curse” he stated.

Dr. Richmond Acquah-Coleman pointed out that there’s no scientific proof to link suicide to spiritual curse.

Source: Kwasi Afari

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