Chairperson of the Ghana Psychological Council Professor Angela Ofori Atta says Ghana loses 7% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to psychological distress cases.
She made this revelation at the 4th Scientific Conference held at UPSA in Accra.
According to Professor Ofori Atta, the loss is because the nation is not taking mental well-being as seriously as it ought to.
She stressed that Ghana can do more to address the negative impact of mental strain on national development.
“We know that chronic diseases are impacted by psychological health, so you are more likely to get a stroke or make your diabetes worse, or your sickle cell anaemia recurrence more frequent. If your stress levels are high, is about making sure that our environment doesn’t give us stress,” she noted.
Speaking on the recent collapse and subsequent merger of some banks by the Bank of Ghana, Secretary of the Ghana Psychological Association, Dr. Collins Badu Agyeman, gave a psychological dimension to the issue.
“The Bank of Ghana has not done much when it comes to supporting the psycho-social well-being of people around the collapse, and this is a worry. If we set up committees to investigate these banks, do we put in place…, a psycho-social support framework to support these people in the short and long term?” he questioned.
The theme for the Scientific Conference was: ‘Thought, Behavior and Action: Making the Sustainable Development Goal Count in National Development’.
The two-day conference seeks to bring together psychological therapists and other mental health stakeholders to deliberate on mechanisms that can be adopted to address mental health issues, and how it can help in achieving the SDGs.