Clubhouse Ghana, a non-profit Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has disclosed its plans to establish a community-oriented Rehabilitation Center to help revamp and re-integrate Mental Healthcare delivery into the fabric of society.
The Center, when completed next year, will open its doors to Recovered Patients / Clients; and provide them all with skills in carpentry, farming, cooking, bartending, masonry, plumbing, as well as other trades etc. (if necessary); in order for them to be self-sufficient when they recover from a Mental condition in any local Psychiatric Hospital.
The recovered individuals will gain an inner sense of self-pride, resilience and tenacity to face life’s challenges head on even when their families or communities forsake them due to the stigma attached to Mental Health and the shrouded influence in its wake!
The Founder of Clubhouse Ghana, Mona Lisa “ML” Brookshire née Blay-Miezah, explained that the general objective will be to support the government’s effort to integrate mental health into the general healthcare delivery system across the country.
She noted that “Mental Health is indeed critical; because it impacts the thoughts, behaviours and emotions of individuals; and as such, has a direct impact on one’s actions and inactions as well as one’s sense of judgement and self-worth!”
Additionally, she stated that “Mental Health also has socio-economic implications for the patients, their families and the nation as a whole; since it contributes significantly to productivity and the human resource base of any country in Africa or the world at large”.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 33 percent of Ghanaians are mentally challenged. However, ML stated that the issue has not really been given the needed attention over the years due to several factors such as misconceptions, the fear of stigmatization, lack of training, poor funding mechanisms, ignorance, spiritual connotations, indifference, negligence among others.
Situation in Ghana
In Ghana, ML noted that it is a common phenomenon to see Mentally ‘handicapped’ people loitering both day and night without proper clothing, food and medication. She explained that many Mental Health patients are oftentimes unable to access the needed social or medical support.
Out of desperation coupled with Africa’s unnerving focus on superstition, most Mentally Challenged individuals are rather sent to spiritual leaders for exorcism and “healing”.
The aforementioned have devalued the dignity, worth and the rights of the patients living with a Mental Health condition. Such experiences should not be encouraged in the 21st century in an otherwise advanced country like Mother Ghana.
“The meagre budgetary allocations have not been able to support adequate Mental Health and Rehabilitation facilities; and as such little has been achieved over the years,” she stated.
Section 80, of Mental Health Act, 2012 (Act 846) talks about the establishment of a Mental Health Fund which will among other things, support the rehabilitation, skills training and empowerment of Mental Health patients. However, change and improvement have both eluded the lonesome individuals that walk the streets naked by day!
“It is obvious that no society can function without a robust Mental Health Advocacy system. Neglecting a country’s Mental Health system amounts to neglecting the country’s overall human capital which will eventually impact even more negatively on the country’s economy,”
“There is the ardent need for society to see one’s Mental Health as a critical aspect of human and interpersonal development; and as such Clubhouse Ghana will initiate immediate actions to resolve the overarching challenges in order to promote efficiency and an all-inclusive society that embraces diversity and inclusion”, she stated.
The Ministry of Health as well as the Ministry of Education will work hand in hand to propel the ML4Lyfe Foundation; as well as its non-profit, NGO-arm to succeed at all cost.
Clubhouse Ghana is admirably the First-Ever Rehabilitation Center to be established in the entire West-African region. There are only two other Clubhouse-Franchised Rehabilitation Centers in Uganda and South Africa. Hence, Ghana will hold the mantle as the first trailblazing country to be granted funding, US resources and World Mental Health Federation support from Clubhouse International in Manhattan, New York to establish a Center that will operate primarily with the NGO’s business model as a whole: www.clubhouse-intl.org.
A Service to Ghana
With great optimism and enthusiasm for the celebration of life and stability, Mentally Challenged individuals that roam naked and hungry and unkempt will be finally taken off the streets and taken care of indefinitely.
For those that are functional, ML said they would attain their free Basic Senior High School (SHS) education through the involvement of the Ministry of Education.
By virtue of the Rehabilitation Center’s objectives, the functional “clients” (no longer referred to as “patients”); will also learn a trade as quickly as possible and find work and accommodation with assistance from their assigned social workers.
“Sadly, those that are assessed to be non-functional or completely dysfunctional by the Head Psychiatrists will be committed for life into the institution and taken care of till they expire one day,” she indicated.
All these services will be completely FREE of charge (with the medical services rolled into a specific Healthcare insurance plan). Duly, from the provisions of international funding; no Challenged client will ever be turned away or rejected!
On the flip side of less extreme scenarios, albeit disturbing still… Lots of professionals in Ghana have also lost their places at work and are now frustrated and in hiding because of shame and embarrassment due to several relapses and lack of medication.
Once a person has “gone mad before” in local Ghanaian parlance, the stigma prevents them oftentimes from ever returning to school or work or even achieving future goals locally. (Teachers, nurses, even doctors, engineers, accountants, business owners etc. are all not exempt or excluded from the backlash, stigmatisation and spiritual interpretations of one’s medication and relapse history).
Plan of Action
At this time, the publication herein the Daily Graphic Newspapers and/or online will suffice as a “Clarion Call” for all Ghanaian Corporate Entities and Corporate Social Responsibility teams to assist the aforementioned project in its entirety.
Awareness and Erudition
Clubhouse Ghana will schedule tours for CEOs to visit the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, Pantang and Ankaful to take an introspective look at the present heart-tugging unfortunate living conditions of individuals at the facilities.
After the tour’s end for over 400 Corporate CEOs of Ghana and beyond, the Ghana CEO Summit www.ghanaceosummit.com will grant ML an opportune moment to share a 20-minute reel and presentation at the next Summit in May 2022. Her impassioned plea at the Summit will focus more on educative awareness; as opposed to fundraising because she believes that the latter will follow as soon as the powers that be understand Mental Health and truly truly “get it”!
If you are moved today to give any amount of money at this particular moment, please send donations to +233 244 425 405 via MTN Mobile Money (MoMo) in the name of the Foundation.
Alternatively, if you are able to donate with a debit or credit card for Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express, you can donate directly to the secure Fundraising portal below:
A hefty portion of your donations will be returned to you; and each individual or corporate donor will be able to write off their taxes annually since the Houston-based company is a 501(c) / 301(c) non-profit organization.
Thank you in advance for your interest and potential involvement in this project. REVEAL: When the architects finally construct the Clubhouse Ghana building; the infrastructure will have a unique emphasis on a Wall of Fame as well as a Walk of Fame; where the names of every single donor (regardless of denomination or amount given) will have their name engraved in the floors and walls of the entire facility!
“A Legacy Project, indeed for all of us to ensure that no individual will ever be lowered or devalued or debased for the simple fact that they have experienced depression, anxiety or any other chemical imbalance (Mood… Bipolar) or Mental… Schizophrenia) and/or other Mental condition.
As of August, 2021, the ML4Lyfe Foundation has entered a Partnership with Rotary Club of Accra Industrial, under the overarching Rotary International http://www.rotary.org and Rotary Club of Houston; of which ML is a member, rotaryhouston.org.
PLEASE join us for the Global Corporate Launch of ML4Lyfe Group via Zoom on Sunday, 26th December, 2021: posts.gle/Yc38pb hosted by Kwame “DJ Capelo” Kyiamah of Dallas, Texas.
Ride and ‘Surf’ the ‘Wave’ of Inclusion with Clubhouse Ghana today; because there is a ‘Sea’ of opportunity, gratification and fulfillment that awaits!!!
Thank you very much!
Servant CEO, ML
ML4Lyfe Group Of Companies
6231 Cantigny Lake Drive Katy, Texas 77493
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Office: +1 832 607 6022