Mental illness is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Ghana. In spite of this situation, only two percent of people with mental illness receive treatment from health facilities. This implies that ninety-eight percent do not receive care, resulting in a wider gap in the treatment of mental illness in Ghana. The World Health Organization advocates that countries with huge treatment gap should find contextual innovative ways by collaborating with lay person to respond to mental illness. In a country where more than seventy percent of the population profess to be Christians, there has been calls for collaboration between mental health professionals and Christian religious leaders to address mental health issues. This call is strengthened by the evidence that religious leaders are trusted by community members and are frontliners in times of crisis. Additionally, prayer camps are the first point of call when people have mental health problems. Using qualitative research approaches, the study explores the perspective of prayer camp leaders on the call for collaboration between mental professionals and Christian religious leaders. The paper posits that although prayer camp leaders welcome the call for collaboration, and believe that this will contribute significantly to mental health, there are worries about mistrust and disrespect on the part of mental health professionals towards the role of prayer camp leaders in relation to mental illness.
Lecturer, Theology and Mission, Pentecost University, Ghana
RELIGIOUS LEADERS, HEALING, PRAYER, MENTAL HEALTH, GHANA
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