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Mental health patients in Ghana share their stories about stigma and suffering

Mental health patients in Ghana share their stories about stigma and suffering

Authors MAGNUS MFOAFO-M'CARTHY, Associate Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University JEFF GRISCHOW, Associate Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University DESPITE global advances in disability rights, stigma towards individuals diagnosed with mental illness is common across the African continent. In Ghana, research has shown that one of the main roots of stigmatisation is the belief that mental illnesses are caused by supernatural forces, including spiritual punishment for parents’ misdeeds. As a result, Ghanaians with mental illness are often mistreated (sometimes violently), mocked by family members and even denied access to their children. In some cases, parents abandon their mentally ill relatives, either locking them away…
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