Government advised to invest in child psychology

BY: Justice Agbenorsi
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

The Head of the Psychology Unit at the 37 Military Hospital, Dr Erica Danfrekua Dickson, has urged the government to invest in child psychology to help children withstand the pressures of social media.

She said the recent shocking Kasoa murder case involving children in pursuit of quick wealth was a “clear example” of how degenerate society had become in the advent of social media.

Dr Dickson was speaking at a public lecture organised by the Ghana Psychology Association to mark this year’s Psychology Week in Accra last Friday.

It was on the theme: “psychological well-being: The bedrock of nation-building.”

Shock

A juvenile murder suspect, who was committed last Monday to stand trial at the High Court for the alleged murder of a 10-year-old boy at Kasoa in the Central region, confessed to the crime and another murder previously unheard of since his arrest along with a suspected accomplice, Nicholas Kwame Kani.

The 15-year-old boy (name withheld), before his committal, told the Kaneshie Magistrate Court presided over by Ms Rosemond Agyiri Duodoo that the murder of the 10-year-old boy was not their first.

They have been officially charged with conspiracy and murder and are expected to stand trial in September this year.

Reacting to the situation, Dr Dickson said the recent “shock” of the situation should underscore the need for the government to invest in child psychology.

“Any serious nation needs to invest in its children as child psychologists concern themselves with the development of the mind and behaviour from prenatal to adolescence.

“Their focus is not merely on how they physically grow but on their mental, emotional and social development because they also take cognisance of the cultural and socio-economic context in which these children develop.

“Can we, the nation, progress if we have many more of such dangerous children in our society?  What needs to be done?,” she queried.

Scope of work

Dr Dickson explained that investing in child psychologists was apt as they would research into the risks and drivers of such behaviours and contribute the information gained to improve parenting, education, child-care, and other areas beneficial to children.

“Child psychologists are essential to understanding the influences that combine and interact to make our children who they are or have become.

“They can prescribe culturally relevant interventions that can help us further our long-held positive cultural values to impart to our children while remaining contemporary,” she said.

Dr Dickson also charged the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection which had oversight on children to take active interest in research that would enhance the social protection of children

Policymakers

Dr Dickson further called on policy makers in the country to engage psychologists to ensure successful outcomes.

“Engaging psychologists will ensure proper diagnosis and intervention development for the various sectors of the country,” she added.