Prioritize your mental health to avoid self-harm – Okoe Boye

Chief Executive officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Mr. Bernard Okoe Boye,  is urging the public to prioritize their mental health to prevent them from considering suicide when faced with financial constraints.

Okoe-Boye explained mental health is an umbrella term for the state of a person’s mind, therefore, seeking medical attention is a step toward halting mental illness.

“Mental health simply refers to the state of your mind and not what’s happening in your physical body.

You don’t have malaria, typhoid, or bloated abdomen but because all is not well with your state of mind – we say you have [mental] issues,” the NHIA boss explained.

Speaking on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana, Thursday, Okoe-Boye emphasized the need to audit such systems to help curb the country’s suicidal cases.

“There are many Ghanaians on the streets today who might be having [mental] issues,” he said, “The question we ask ourselves is what are the outputs? Do we have any shortcodes that we call ‘look, I want to just leave this world’? In other communities, they have it (I’m not saying we don’t have anything like that) but we have to audit some of these systems to see whether we can do better as a country.”

“This is the way to approach it or never,” Okoe Boye argued.

A young man named Kakra committed suicide in Kasoa in the Central Region in response to the country’s harsh economic situation.
According to eyewitnesses, prior to climbing the pylon and being shortly electrocuted, he complained about the high cost of living and how life had become unbearable for him.

Attempts by onlookers and first responders to persuade him to rescind his decision prove futile.

Former President Mahama and the NDC National Communications Officer Sammy Gyamfu have slammed the Akufo-Addo government for woefully failing on its mandate compelling the lad to take his life

However, the NHIA boss has rejected the politicization of the unfortunate incident by the opposition National Democratic Congress and said it is important to take one’s mental health seriously.

“I’m saying this because if you look at (let’s say) 2009 and 2017 before Akufo-Addo became president it is possible to see people who might have committed suicide.”

In his view, “It might be a trap to assume anybody who committed suicide under JM [John Mahama] or [Atta] Mills did that because of economic situations.”


By: Bernard Ralph Adams | | Ghana

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