A German philanthropist and founder of Volta Region-based non-governmental organization (NGO), Home of Brain, Dr. Rick Wolthusen has reiterated the need for the people to seek medical attention for the treatment of mental health illness, saying, is a health related problem which is not caused by witchcrafts and need to be treated by doctors not at prayer camps
Dr. Wolthusen however, said family and loved ones can socially support mentally challenged persons with prayers in the churches but not to keep the patients in the prayer camps for long in anticipation of miracles.
“You have people to go to churches; there is nothing wrong with it but same time we know, we need to understand that the longer the medical mental condition is untreated the more severe are the symptoms, the more the brain damages”
He advised that instead of physically and emotionally abusing the mental patients, limiting their rights and ignoring them in the streets, family members and volunteers should seek urgent medical treatment for such people, show them love in several ways and keep relationship with them as a process to speed up their rehabilitation.
Dr. Rick Wolthusen made this known at a workshop held on March 27, 2018 at the Ketu South Municipal Assembly Hall on Brain Awareness and Healthy Reporting to Promote Brain Health for Journalists in the Volta region.
The training which also aimed at dealing with issues confronting mentally challenged persons and ways to eradicate them, attracted several reporters from various media houses, health workers, officials from NCCE, the Assembly, and Volunteers.
Reportage on Mental Issues
Mr. Courage Ahorlu, a Mental Health Practitioner suggested that journalists should be more circumspect in reporting stories relating to mental problems.
According to him, even in violent cases, “as professional journalists you need to withhold terrifying scenes and actual details of person and location involved in order to maintain the public’s confidentially especially, in the children.”
Mr. Ahorlu believes doing so will reduce chances of others attempting to engage in such practices (suicide cases especially) when they find themselves in similar situations and sometimes, out of curiosity. “A child who heard that a boy hanged himself to death, he/she will say let me also try to see what will happen”, he explained.
He therefore, appealed to journalists to avoid using shocker headlines to attract readers and keep it simple in order not to let the brain to attempt such violent act and asked that they are always conscious of the side effects the story will have on the readers and not their fame.
By Albert Kuzor/voltaonlinegh.com