Religion and Mental Health Intervention in Ghana

Tuesday, 17 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Michael OKYEREFO, University of Ghana, Ghana
Daniel FIAVEH, University of Cape Coast, Ghana, Ghana
Using an exploratory qualitative study through observation, in-depth interviews and focused group discussions (FGD) in Christian prayer camps, Islamic and traditional healing centers in Ghana, the study contributes to the discourse, from a cross cultural point of view, on religion and health-seeking beliefs and practices by studying centres of intervention belonging to the three main religious traditions afore-mentioned. The specific objectives of the study are to find out the types of treatment offered men and women with mental health challenges and the religious underpinnings of such interventions in order to help determine how state policy regarding mental health intervention could be influenced, drawing on religious principles. A total number of six (6) religious centres will be observed in this study. Specifically, we will study the Edumfa prayer camp in the Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese District of the Central Region and the Mount Horeb Prayer Centre at Mamfe-Akuapem in the Akuapim North District of Eastern region, a private Islamic healing centre in Greater Accra, and traditional healing centres in Kintampo in the Brong Ahafo region and Bongo in the Upper East region. The findings of the study and resulting benchmarks will serve as a springboard to interrogate current practices and policy regarding mental health intervention in Ghana. Knowledge, thus, generated from such a wide ranging study would present outcomes that could contribute to formulating policy benchmarks regarding mental health intervention in Sub-Saharan Africa.