The Ghana Psychological Association (GPA) has raised concerns about the effect the coronavirus outbreak on the mental well-being of the citizens of Ghana.
According to the Association, Ghanaians are becoming aware of the underlying health conditions that increase one’s susceptibility to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Sadly, not many are aware that some psychological distress can also trigger those underlying conditions and make some persons more prone to both the disease and to psychological breakdown. Studies show that those who have pre-existing mental health problems are at risk of the disease while the disease also have increased risk of mental disorders and neurological problems even months after the infection has cleared.
The GPA is by this, alerting the general public to take mental health issues more seriously by seeking psychosocial help. The public is also to note that persons with health anxiety (that is those who are very sensitive to health issues, formerly known as hypochondriacs), people who are known to be suicidal, people with underlying health problems (Asthma, diabetes, cardiac problems etc), have a higher risk. Individuals who have had several hospitalizations, people who suddenly withdraw from others or reduce social interactions, and those grieving over any form of loss, more so the stress of providing care for hospitalized relatives are more prone to psychological distress,” the statement read.
It said: “Also, people on probation and those unsure of their fate, people with relationship/marital issues, joblessness, the poor, the sick and the vulnerable need more psychological support, in addition to physical support, especially in this COVID-19 era.
There is no time in history that humanity needs a multi-dimensional and multi-sectoral support than now. The membership of GPA are professional psychologists with specialties in Social Psychology, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Counselling Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Community Psychology, Educational Psychology, just to mention a few. The GPA since April, 2020 has been involved in the fight against COVID-19 in providing psycho-education and psychosocial counselling services to victims of the pandemic and their families.
The Association is open to supporting individuals and organizations in this direction. Currently, our members are poised to seeing a psychologically sound Ghana in the midst of the pandemic and beyond. You can always reach a professional counsellor through GPA on +233 55 347 0086.”