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.


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