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GHLI in Ghana

site visit to prayer camps

Since 2009, GHLI has forged strong and productive collaborations with Ghanaean colleagues to foster leadership for improved mental health services across the country.

The foundation for this work was established through GHLI's annual conference (2009-2014); Ghana sent a delegation of high-ranking government officials, academics, and mental health practitioners to New Haven to participate in our flagship leadership development program. These delegations emerged with high-impact plans to transform mental healthcare services in Ghana, resulting in (1) the passing of the Metal Health Act by Parliament and subsequent legislative instrument for mental health parity within the Ghana Health Service, (2) the establishment and evaluation of the Psych Corps, an innovative national service organization for community-based mental healthcare services, and (3) the establishment of partnerships between the Ghanaian Heath Service and faith-based Prayer Camps with the potential to bridge cultural practices and western medical treatments for better patient outcomes.

In support of the policy and advocacy driven by these delegations, GHLI faculty support health services research and implementation science across diverse mental health sites in Ghana, with a focus on use of qualitative study of patient and family expectations and experiences associated with care seeking in both hospital and prayer-camp settings, evaluation of innovations at Accra Psychiatric Hospital (APH) to promote more effective triage, stabilization, and discharge to community and family services, and evaluation of the PsychCorps program model. Our work in Ghana is supported by individual philanthropists and the Global Health Equity Scholars Program, which supports research training of post- and pre-doctoral fellows at 12 partnering institutions, bringing forth the next generation of global health researchers, educators, and professionals to address new challenges in global health.

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