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The Ghana Psychological Association (GPA), has called on the government to develop close relations with psychologists in times of policy implementation as a roadmap towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs).
To them, it is only research that can effect change and that the government must embrace the services of psychologists to attain it.
The call was made at the 4th Annual Scientific Conference organized by the GPA in collaboration with the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry of the school of Medicine and Surgery, University of Ghana (UG), University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) and Lancaster University.
In a keynote address on the theme: “Thoughts, Behaviour and Action: making the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) count in national development”, the Chairperson of the Ghana Psychological Council, Prof. Angela Ofori-Atta emphasized the critical role psychologists play in a country to achieve the SDGs based on researches conducted for the purposes of policy implementation.
She cited one of her collaborative researches indicating that Ghana loses about 7 percent of its GDP due to poor mental health related issues. She said Psychologist can invaluably help in achieving such set targets and improve the socio-economic development of Ghana.
“We can turn poverty into wealth as well as illness to good health, as much as possible, government should embrace the services of psychologists in decision making.” she stressed.
The acting President of the GPA, Dr Erica Dickson said Ghana can achieve the SDGs, if government, in all endeavor would take steps to ensure all Ghanaians are in the right state of mind, thus, mentally sound to deliver as mandated them.
She explained further that, the conference would delve into the research findings of the psychologists to expose the mental wellbeing of individuals to ensure.
She called on policy makers to actualize the research work for sustainable growth of the country.
“Though, there would be financial and resource constraints, the researchers and policymakers must ensure the implementation of the research findings to achieve the SDGs”.
The Vice-Chancellor of the UPSA, Prof. Abednego Okoe Feehi Amartey, also reiterated the need for government to pay attention to mental health issues because the development of a nation depends on the mental state of every citizenry.
Dr. Helen Kwansema Arkorful, a session Chair and Dean of the UPSA also emphasised the conference focus on actualizing the research findings towards achieving the SDGs for the country. In her view, Psychologists hold the keys to wellness and that is the wealth of the nation.
Also, the National Secretary of the association and lecturer of UPSA, Dr. Collins Badu Agyemang said, one of the most viable ways to achieve the SDGs in Ghana is addressing the problems among the poor and mentally handicapped persons in society.
Source: Nii Aflah Sackey