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Some potential psychosocial and somatic effects of the Menzgold saga
Every disappointed – failure in exams, job loss, loss of loved one, breach of trust, etc., – has the potential to lead to some level of anxiety which may graduate to depression and another form of psychosocial challenges if not effectively managed.
The Menzgold case is indeed a form of disappointment/loss to customers and by extension, their dependents. In effect, individuals/groups whose investments are locked up may go through some psychological/psychosomatic challenges.
Besides anxiety and possible depression, the disappointment and the associated frustration may induce suicidal and other unhealthy and counterproductive thoghts.
Heightened anxiety can also lead to conflict, displaced anger/aggression as a result of reduced tolerance – it can adversely affect interpersonal relations. This state of mind can also affect concentration and for that matter work output.
Others are reduced self-esteem, induce insomnia, headache, cardiac conditions and also exacerbate other existing health conditions.
It can also affect trust in institutions.
In the light of this, l strongly recommend support in the form of professional counseling for individuals/groups. Counseling will help in the management of the situation and thus reduce some of the adverse effects listed above.
It must be emphasized however that whether or not one will be adversely affected or not, and the extent of the effect, is a function of the level of investment and the individuals financial position, the resources (time, effort, etc.,) expended, one’s coping strategies and the interpretation of the situation among others.
NGOs may consider financing group counseling for those who can’t afford individual sessions. The Ghana Psychological Association (GPA) and professional counselors may also assist at a reduced cost.
It is the hope of the writer that some payments will be made to customers from the assets of Menzgold. This, coupled with counseling will speed up the healing process.
Let us all be more circumspect in the future in terms of investment.
Regulators should in the future act with super speed in educating/warning and protecting the public.
God Bless our Homeland Ghana
Source: Dr. Wiafe-Akenteng (Social Psychologist, UG)
- A psychological explanation to the Menzgold saga (Part 1)
- Impact Assessment and its Relevance to National Development