Finland was on Monday, named the world’s happiest country once again, while Ghana is 111 out of 146 countries, according to the World Happiness Report.
The World Happiness Report, now in its 11th year, is based on people’s own assessment of their happiness, as well as economic and social data.
A statement issued by Dr Isaac Newman Arthur, National Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Psychological Association (GPA), copied to the Ghana News Agency said “Happiness is a human right. Everyone deserves to be happy.
Most of our human adventures and interventions are geared towards making happiness possible anytime, anywhere”.
It noted that happiness reflects how satisfied a person was with their quality of life, and it was at the heart of all mental health issues.
It said it was surprising the United Nations had set aside 20th March every year as International Happiness Day to serve as a reminder that happiness was a human right.
The statement said the UN General Assembly in its resolution 65/309 in 2011, encouraged member countries to enact policies that will improve the quality of life of its citizens, and to use various indicators of happiness to guide policy decisions.
It said each year, countries were ranked based on how happy their citizens were using the Gallup World Poll’s 14 indicators of happiness.
It said it included citizen engagement, emotions (wellbeing), diversity, education and families, business and economy, energy and environment, government and politics, law and order, religion and ethics, health, transportation, communication and technology, work, and food and shelter.
The statement said member countries were urged to build societies that ensured that the needs of their citizens were met.
It said all mental disorders affect several areas of a person’s functioning which robs the person of the happiness they deserve or wish for.
“Mental illnesses negatively impacts a person’s ability to cope and adjust to normal life situations, and live independently, form and maintain meaningful relationships, maintain a positive self-identity, and contribute meaningfully to society.” The statement said.
“Ghana has come a long way to improve on mental health services for her citizens, supported by individuals and organizations.”
It said the GPA, together with other mental health organisations had contributed immensely to this cause.
“Can everyone be happy in Ghana, and in other parts of the world? Yes, we can! By actively engaging in activities which maximize our mental wellbeing, that is having a positive attitude towards life, entertaining positive friendships or networks, having ample rest, moderate exercises, learning to say ‘No’ when overwhelmed with avoidable schedules, having good nutrition, being thankful and grateful by counting our blessings amidst challenges, feelings of contentment, setting realistic goals and expectations, praying and meditating, engaging in hobbies and activities that create humor, forgiving ourselves and others, avoiding needless risks, and endeavoring to take informed decisions in life”.
It said above all, seek professional help if in distress by contacting mental health professionals.
“On this day, International Happiness Day, we wish all Ghanaians, and everyone anywhere a Happy Life.”