Mental Health Authority offers trauma therapy to flood victims
The Mental Health Authority (MHA) has deployed staff to communities in the Lower Volta area impacted by the spillage of the Akosombo and Kpong dams to provide crisis and trauma therapy to affected persons in displaced camps.
The objective is to assess the situation on the ground and provide psychological support for the affected residents.
The acting Head of Research of the MHA, Samuel Hanu, in an interview with the Daily Graphic last Monday, said a mental health team, made up of psychiatrists, psychologists and mental health nurses, visited the various camps and provided various psycho-social support to victims of the disaster.
“We observed that some of the community members are experiencing some mental health conditions such as anxiety, fear, sleepless nights, nightmares, crying spells, palpitations, muscle stiffness and forgetfulness,” he said.
Mr Hanu indicated that others were also reporting hypertension, which was not present prior to the floods.
“There would be the need to support the Mental Health Authority to undertake extended intervention in the affected areas,” he said.
He said the next step for the MHA was to get the necessary support to augment the mental health support as the few mental health professionals on the ground were overwhelmed.
“It is worthy to note that the mental health effects will linger on long after life returns to normalcy,” he said.
He also encouraged the displaced persons and community members to remain calm and cooperate with authorities as they work around the clock to alleviate their plight.
The Volta River Authority commenced the spillage of excess water on September 15, due to rising levels of the Akosombo and Kpong hydro dams.
As a result, many communities along the Lower Volta Basin including communities in the South, Central, and North Tongu districts in the Volta Region were affected by the spillage.
The situation rendered residents homeless and some shelters had to be created for them in safe havens.