Pinaman Appau (left), Chief Executive Officer of MHA, with Lady Julia Osei Tutu (2nd from right) and some officials at the launch of the Purple Month Mental Health Awareness Campaign
Pinaman Appau (left), Chief Executive Officer of MHA, with Lady Julia Osei Tutu (2nd from right) and some officials at the launch of the Purple Month Mental Health Awareness Campaign

May declared Mental Health Month

The Mental Health Authority has declared May as Mental Health Awareness Month to create awareness and also mitigate the stigmatisation associated with the situation in the country.


Dubbed the “Purple Month,” the initiative is to amplify and sustain a collective voice to advocate mental wellness across the country. This would align Ghana with other nations such as the US and the UK, which have similarly designated May as a month dedicated to mental health awareness creation.

It also underscores the country's historical observance of World Mental Health Day on October 10, initially established in 1992, by the World Federation for Mental Health. The initiative was launched in Accra on the theme: "Movement: Moving more for our mental health," emphasising the link between physical activity and mental well-being.

It was in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), and Lady Julia Osei Tutu, who is the Life Patron of EVE International.  
Activities lined up for the month include maternal mental health awareness, school engagement on mental health and well-being, community outreach in five districts in the Eastern Region, collaboration with organisations on workplace mental health education and a health walk.

Physical activity

The Board Chairperson of the Mental Health Authority, Estelle Appiah, said many studies had emphasised the transformative effect of regular physical activity on the mood, stress levels and structure of the brain, adding that “it also serves as a natural, yet potent antidote to depression, anxiety and stress”.

She said although the enactment of the Mental Health Act, 2012 (Act 846), which led to the establishment of the Mental Health Authority reflected the government and stakeholders' commitment to prioritise mental well-being, the authority was challenged by the lack of sustainable financing for promotion and insufficient human resource.

“We must invest in inclusive programmes, policies and legislation. Currently, the board is engaged in post-legislative scrutiny of the Mental Health Act to ensure its responsiveness to mental health challenges in the county,10 years post-enactment.

“Let's create a wave of movement that propel us towards a future where mental well-being is not only a possibility, but a reality for all,” Ms Appiah added. The President of Ghana Physiological Association and Consultant Agency, Dr Collins Badu Agyemang, called for redirection of the COVID-19 levy funds towards addressing the country's mental health treatment gap. 


The wife of the Asantehene, Lady Julia Osei Tutu, said addressing mental health issues and promoting open dialogue could help to break down the barriers of stigma and discrimination that prevent individuals from seeking help and accessing the support they might need.

She said the designation of May as Purple Month was in line with her passion in advocating the independence and empowerment of the vulnerable in society. “The week of April 29 to May 5 holds special significance for me as it is at the height of the 25th anniversary celebrations.

This special week also marks maternal mental health advocacy and education,” Lady Julia said. She expressed her commitment to work with stakeholders to educate, empower and improve livelihoods of persons with mental health conditions in the country.

For his part, the Director, Allied Health, of the Ministry of Health, Dr Ignatius Awinibuno, said the ministry would continue to support mental health initiatives.

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