Investing in Psychological Services is one of the best guaranteed tools for social protection and national development, Professor Charles Mate Kole, Chairman of the Accreditation Committee of the Ghana Psychological Council, said on Thursday.
He said investing in psychological services met several of the targets of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, saying approximately seven percent of the country's gross national product is lost because care is not provided for the mental health of ordinary citizens.
Prof. Mate Kole made the statement when he chaired the third Induction ceremony for Licensed Psychologists, paraprofessionals and lay practitioners. The Induction ceremony was on the theme: "Securing the Profession, Protecting the people."
He said, "The critical roles you play in promoting and maintaining emotional balance, mental health and wellbeing in our country cannot be overemphasized...You can help reduce the burden of emotional and mental disorders in schools, increase productivity in the workplace and in the community and thus possibly restoring the seven per cent loss to the gross national product."
Prof. Mate Kole advised the inductees to seek collaboration in all fields of practice and beyond psychology and added that the Council was looking to work through licensed practitioners to provide the necessary Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Minister of Health charged the Ghana Psychological Council to expedite the completion of the Legislative Instrument backing Act 857 and table it before Parliament by mid-2020
The Ghana Psychological Council Act 857, among others, set standards for psychological care.
Mr Agyeman-Manu pledged the Ministry of Health's support for the Council in enforcing Act 857 and said the Ministry will provide other necessary support to ensure jobs and career paths in applied psychology are worthwhile in every possible way.
Dr Erica Danfrekua Dickson, the President of the Ghana Psychological Association, in a goodwill message, said the Association is made up of a group of professionals, paraprofessionals and lay practitioners seeking the wellbeing of their own and policing each other to ensure that they abide by the ethics and code of the profession.
"The Association's goal is to maintain, improve and keep its members up to date with professional knowledge and skills through organizing continuous development programmes during the year."
Dr Dinah Baah-Odoom, the Registrar of the Ghana Psychological Council, said 486 practitioners made up of Psychologists, Psychologist Assistants, paraprofessional Counsellors and lay practitioners were being inducted into the Ghana Psychological council.
"The Council has on its register, 1,200 licensed practitioners excluding inductees," she said.
Ghana News Agency's Hannah Awadzi (Mrs) was inducted as a Psychologist Assistant.