The Mental Health Authority has commended the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) for continuously supporting the institution to bring attention and awareness to mental health issues.
The acting CEO of the authority, Caroline Amissah, said unlike previously when mental health was given little attention, it is now in the spotlight resulting in reduction in stigma.
She was speaking when the church presented GHC200,000 to the authority at the close of the Life Walk – ICGC’s annual health and fitness event that encourages healthy lifestyles and serves as a platform to impact society.
For the 5th consecutive time, the church chose to support the Mental Health Authority as part of a commitment to help improve conditions at the country’s psychiatric hospitals and create awareness to ensure effective management of cases.
Accra South Regional Overseer of ICGC, Reverend Anthony Cudjoe, on behalf of the General Overseer, Pastor Mensa Otabil, made the presentation to the authority.
He said ICGC’s support for mental health is anchored in the understanding that it is an aspect of Ghana’s health care system that is underserved and needing the most resources.
Reverend Cudjoe said Life Walk is more than a fitness and wellness event but an evangelistic and charity event. He reminded the gathering of how Jesus Christ went everywhere doing good.
He posited “our mandate, and the third strand of our mission, is to influence society positively with the impact of the gospel.”
In her remarks, Dr. Caroline Amissah noted that the collaboration with ICGC and other partners had led to an increased demand for mental healthcare with more people now reaching out freely for support when they have issues.
She called on other institutions to emulate the gesture by ICGC to complement the efforts of the state.
This year’s walk began at the Christ Temple East Campus of the church in Teshie and had senior officials of the church including General Overseer, Pastor Mensa Otabil, his wife, Lady Joy, General Secretary Rev. Morris Appiah, Regional Overseer for Accra North Rev. Yaw Annor, and various district heads leading the effort.
The 12-kilometre walk took the thousands of participants through some major streets in the Teshie enclave including Tse Addo and the Military Cemetery.
Officials of the Mental Health Authority, keep-fit lovers and members of the general public also joined the well-organized walk amidst brass-band music and singing by various cheer groups.