He said there were a lot of people walking on the streets who had mental health issues but were shy to seek help even though there is help.
“There are patients who will invite you to their homes in Ghana to attend to them or those who would like to come to the hospital early in the morning around 5 AM because they do not want to be seen entering the psychiatric hospital,” he said.
Dr Agorinya gave the advice when he trained selected members of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD) and some Social welfare officials on mental health issues.
The training organised by Basic Needs Ghana, an NGO with a focus on mental health issues was supported by Ghana Somubie Dwumadie, a disability-focused programme on mental health and UK Aid.
The training is expected to enhance participants’ knowledge of mental health and to help them understand persons with mental health issues.
Dr Agoriyna said there was a need to desist from stigmatising persons with mental health issues and encourage them to seek help.
“Elsewhere, there is nothing shameful about seeking help for one’s mental health issues, you see some celebrities take to social media to announce that they have depression or they are taking a break to enable them to go through rehabilitation,”
There is nothing shameful about mental health, it is also a kind of illness that can happen to anyone but in Ghana people tend to hide or sneak into the Psychiatric hospital whenever they need help,” Dr Agoriyna said.
Dr Agoriyna said mental health care if not well handled could cost the country billions of dollars because people with mental health issues tend to be non-productive at work.
Estimating the cost of mental healthcare in Ghana, Dr Agorinya who had an interest in global mental health issues, said it could cost a family about GHS4000 monthly to provide care for their loved one with mental health issues.
He urged Ghanaians to stop stigmatising and abusing persons with mental health conditions, saying, “There is never any justification for abusing any person with mental illness.