MTN HoC Season 6: With Sound Mind Rehab Daycare, Psychiatrist rescues lives patients


“I realised that, unlike other departments, our patients’ visitation numbers reduced drastically months after COVID-19 struck so I decided to dig deep to get to the roots of the problem. I found out that the pandemic had taken a huge toll on the economic activity of the caregivers of our patients which prevented them from patronising the services,” Ms. Gloria Sarkodie Addo, a Psychiatric Nurse.

These words sum up the plight of psychiatric patients who were on daily medications. Despite the desperate need for medicine, they were put on hold because they and their caregivers could not afford the medicines anymore for one reason or the other but particularly because of the change in events and happenings during COVID-19.

As generous as she is, Ms. Gloria Sarkodie Addo, a Psychiatric Nurse, started visiting the homes of some of the patients to see how best the situation can be salvaged as these people must take their medications daily.

Her visit revealed that “most of them had relapsed and some had been left alone to wander on the streets,” meanwhile some of these patients were suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar, depression, epilepsy and other neurological conditions.

This sad reality did not discourage her but rather charged her to think about ways and means to save the lives of these people by getting them back on their medications and educating them on COVID-19 and its safety protocols. “I decided to institute measures with the help of my colleagues to get them back on their medications and give them hope for the future. We put together resources to give free medications to those who could not afford them,” she narrated.

But after they are back on their medications, what next? How would they take care of themselves?

Ms. Gloria Sarkodie Addo under her Sound Mind Rehab Daycare initiative and with the help of colleagues did not relent but enrolled these patients on a training programme to equip them with vocational/entrepreneurial skills so they can wean themselves off those they solely depend on.

This provided them with a safe space where all participants can freely discuss their issues and find solace in one another.

Also the team and patients “regularly meet at the Church of Christ Spiritual Movement, Dodowa where resource persons are brought to teach them bead making, liquid soap making and dressmaking skills.”

They were also thought how to protect themselves during the COVID-19 era.

“We have patients who are suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar, depression, epilepsy and other neurological conditions. Our goal is to help them to be economically empowered and helping to dispel negative attitudes towards them. With our efforts and education, we did not record a positive case among our patients. Our work covered persons in the areas of Dodowa, Ayikuma, Doryumu and Agormeda because they have psychiatric units at their health facilities. Currently, we are working to train 15 stable patients with vocational skills,” she said.

Gloria said she has always had a soft spot for the marginalised in society and that is what motivated her to devote her life to helping them and also to help fight victimisation.

“Society thinks people suffering from psychosocial disorders are cursed and should be shunned but I think otherwise. They are a part of us and all resources must be made available to see to their well-being. It saddened me that persons in my department and its patients were not considered when budgetary allocations were made for COVID-19 expenses and this drove me to do my possible best to help my patients,” she said.

MTN Ghana Foundation

The MTN Ghana Foundation was established in November 2007 as the vehicle to select and implement MTN’s Corporate Social Investments. MTN Ghana Foundation has three areas of focus -Health, Education and Economic Empowerment. From its inception to date, the Foundation has undertaken 158 major projects across the country. This includes 87 Education Projects, 53 Health Care Projects, 13 Economic Empowerment Projects and 4 Community Support Initiatives.

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