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Mental Health Authority launches document to provide guidelines into mental research

Mental Health Authority launches document to provide guidelines into mental research
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By: Seth Eyiah

The Mental Health Authority has launched the National Mental Health Research Agenda document to provide critical areas and guidelines for studies into mental research. This is in line with the Mental Health Policy of 2019 to 2030, which has devoted significant attention to research.

However, funding mental health research has not been forthcoming. It has therefore become necessary to draw an agenda to guide the process of addressing the gap in research.

The Chief Director of the Ministry of Health, Alhaji Hafiz Adams in a speech read on his behalf by the Director of Research, Statistics and Information, Wisdom Awinoto, described the launch of the National Mental Health Research Agenda document as a momentous occasion that marks the beginning of a new era in mental health research in Ghana.

The National Mental Health Research Agenda is divided into six domains, with each domain identifying priority research areas.

Mr. Awinoto said the launch of the National Mental Health Research Agenda is a crucial step forward in advancing mental health research in Ghana.

He said in recent times, the sector has witnessed commendable progress in mental health care across the country. However, the same cannot be said for the field of mental health research.

Mr Awinoto mentioned the scarcity of accurate and comprehensive data on the epidemiology, treatment, and outcomes of mental health conditions. This, he noted has left a significant gap in understanding the exact mental health situation in the country.

The Deputy Chief Executive of the Mental Health Authority, Dr. Caroline Amissah, said the Mental Health Authority’s Research Agenda is more than just a set of priorities. She said it is a structured framework meticulously designed to guide and manage research activities.

Dr. Amissah said the agenda is not only for the Mental Health Authority but is designed to benefit affiliate institutions, stakeholder organizations, and related entities.

The former Chief Psychiatrist, Prof. Joseph Bediako Asare, who launched the National Mental Health Research Agenda was excited that the policy gaps identified in mental health research will now be narrowed.

Prof. Joseph Bediako Asare, former Chief Psychiatrist.

He, therefore, called for a collaboration of all related institutions to make the research agenda a living document.

The Head of Research at the Mental Health Authority, Samuel Hanu, took the audience through the six thematic domains of the National Mental Health Research Agenda and their subject areas.

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