Eastern Regional Health Directorate raises public awareness about maternal mental health

The Eastern Regional Health Directorate has organised a street float in Koforidua to create awareness on maternal mental health.

Maternal mental health can be referred to as a mother’s overall emotional, social, and mental well-being, both during and after pregnancy.

Dr Wilfred K. Ofosu, Eastern Regional Health Director, said the mental well-being of mothers directly impacts the health and development of children, the strength of families, and the stability of communities.

Yet, despite its significance, maternal mental health remains stigmatised, underreported, and inadequately addressed.

He said factors that can create mental challenges for mothers are hormonal changes, financial stress, societal pressures, and the responsibility of caring for a new life.

‘As healthcare professionals, the time has come to make a bold commitment to integrating maternal mental health into routine health delivery,’ he said.

‘Our actions today have the power to transform the lives of countless mothers and children for gene
rations to come.’

However, he urged, ‘Let us not forget the importance of self-care and support for our own healthcare professionals. The work we do is emotionally demanding, and we must prioritise our own mental well-being to be effective advocates and carers for others.’

The director highlighted key measures to address maternal mental health challenges.

These measures emphasise the importance of equipping frontline providers with the necessary training and tools to identify signs of maternal mental health disorders and provide compassionate and effective interventions.

The Ministry of Health should actively engage with policymakers, community leaders, and other stakeholders to promote policies and programmes that prioritise maternal mental health.

Dr Ofosu said the policy should encompass various provisions such as affordable healthcare, insurance coverage, childcare support, and specialised mental health services for mothers.

In her address, Nana Ama Awi II, Queen Mother of Asokore and the Benkum Div
ision of the New Juaben Traditional Area, said that raising awareness, eradicating stigma, and fostering a culture of empathy and understanding could create a world where every mother feels seen, heard, and valued.

The street float started from the premises of the Ghana Health Service through the principal streets of the New Juaben South Municipality to Jubilee Park.

Some inscriptions on the placards said maternal mental health disorders are a challenge in Ghana; husbands, support your wives during pregnancy and childcare; implement policies aimed at reducing stigma and discrimination surrounding maternal mental health; and the rest.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Health Medical