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Mental Health Authority demands decriminalization of suicide


The Mental Health Authority has once again called for laws that decriminalize suicide in Ghana.

This follows the detention of the thirty-five-year-old man who attempted suicide at Parliament last Thursday.

According to the Chief Executive of the authority, Dr. Akwasi Osei, the manner in which the man was handled is absolutely wrong and that, he should have been offered psychological assessment instead.

“It was very typical of the way Ghanaians look at somebody who is attempting suicide. we look at them as a criminal. It is unfortunate. This guy is somebody who is obviously going through depression which is a serious mental health psychological problem. Just a person is actually crying for help. What we need to do is not to hackle him and arrest him for the prosecution that obviously was wrong. However that is the state of the law as it is now,” he said.

“This shows there is something wrong with the law. We have been advocating for the repeal of that criminal code which penalizes and criminalizes suicidal behaviour. I was in some sense happy that it happened in Parliament House because I thought that would have been an opportunity for Parliament to recognize the need to repeal the law,” he said.

Last week Thursday, a man believed to be 35-years-old allegedly attempted suicide in Parliament.

The man, who tried to end his life was said to have requested to see the MP for Kwesimintim, Joseph Mensah who was not readily available to meet him.

The unfortunate incident was averted by the security in Parliament and the man was later whisked away by the police.

Parliament is putting measures in place to ensure the safety of MPs as well as its staff when they are in the House.

Parliament in a statement urged citizens who want to observe proceedings in the public gallery to comply with the rules governing attendance in the House.

“The Parliament of Ghana would like to put on record that it is very much aware of the security concerns raised about the country and reported in the media and has taken great care to ensure that the precincts of Parliament is properly secure to avert any incident. Parliament is consciously maintaining high security presence to ensure the safety of the Members and staff of Parliament as well as the general public.”


Source: citinewsroom

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