Organization: Ghana Health Service
Forum: Mental health
Initiated in 2007, The Kintampo Project is training and supporting a new mental health workforce to provide community care close to people’s homes in poor and rural settings throughout Ghana. Between 2011 and 2013, almost 200 Clinical Psychiatric Officers and Community Mental Health Officers were trained to provide culturally-appropriate care for mental health disorders, using the latest-evidence-based teaching methods at the Kintampo College of Health and Wellbeing. This equates to a 60% increase in the trained community workforce for mental health care.
Clinical Psychiatric Officers are supervised by Ghana’s small number of psychiatrists and are able to diagnose mental illness and prescribe medication while Community Mental Health Officers detect mental health problems, provide on-going support to service-users and their families, and raise community awareness to reduce stigma. The Project also builds professional networks and offers on-going professional development to support and retain the new workforce and encourages their workforce to collaborate with traditional healers and church groups to build relationships in the community.
This decentralization of care and significant workforce expansion has hugely improved access to mental health care for people in Ghana: the number of people receiving treatment has increased by 86,530, from 67,792 people in 2011 to 154,322 people in 2013.
The project is continuing to grow with over 600 applicants for 100 new places in 2012. It is hoped that by 2018 there will be at least 2 Community Mental Health Officers and one Clinical Psychiatric Officer working in all 275 districts of Ghana.