About mental health in Ghana

One in four people around the world will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime. Those affected can face isolation, exclusion from work and family life, increased poverty, high healthcare costs and abuses of their human rights.

Ghana was one of the five pilot countries for the Time to Change Global programme. We worked in partnership to run a pilot campaign to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination in Accra, Ghana's capital city. 

When people hear you have a mental health problem, they look at you with different eyes. [Hammond]

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that of the 21.6 million people living in Ghana, 650,000 are suffering from a severe mental disorder and a further 2,166,000 are suffering from a moderate to mild mental disorder.

Read the WHO country profile for Ghana to find out more about mental health in the country.

Focus group research carried out in Accra by Consumer Insights Consult Africa on behalf of Time to Change Global showed a lack of awareness among the public about the spectrum of mental health problems. There was also a lack of understanding about recovery. 

Read the full research report from Consumer Insights Consult along with recommendations on how to reduce stigma and build empathy towards people with mental health problems (PDF)

We worked with our partner CBM and the Mental Health Society of Ghana (MHESOG) to help end mental health stigma and discrimination. 

“It’s time to end mental health discrimination in Ghana. The time is now!” (Humphrey Kofie)

About our local partner in Ghana

Mental Health Society of Ghana (MEHSOG) is a grassroots association for people with personal experience of mental health issues and their carer-givers. They work with like-minded organisations and with the Government of Ghana to advocate for the advancement of mental health.

Alongside our partner CBM, we worked with MEHSOG to co-develop, test, deliver and evaluate a pilot anti-stigma campaign in Accra, Ghana. 

MEHSOG seek to represent and unite all people with mental illness and epilepsy in Ghana. An important part of their work focuses on educating the public, increasing awareness and reducing mental health stigma. They work directly with people affected by mental health issues, to provide peer support and empower people to challenge attitudes and advocate for their rights.

At the heart of our partnership with MEHSOG was a shared belief that people with experience of mental health problems must lead the change around stigma and discrimination. This is the most effective way to tackle stigma and inspire local communities.  

Find out more about MEHSOG on their website.