Apeatse Explosion: Adults Contemplating Suicide, Children Gone Mute - Psychiatric Association
The Psychiatric Association of Ghana says victims of the Apeatse explosion have been left traumatized. In a press statement, the Association also noted that after visiting the victims, preliminary findings then show that some of the adults have become suicidal while some children have been left dumb. Preliminary findings
included children who reportedly persistently scream at night, children who have gone mute since the explosion, adults who struggle with sleep at night, adults who are contemplating suicide, adults who are consistently crying over the loss of loved ones and adults who panic at the least sound. These are some of the severe cases
identified out of a traumatized population of close to 900 displaced persons, including 373 extremely vulnerable children. These symptoms, according to PAG, are consistent with the diagnosis of Acute Stress Reaction, which if not managed appropriately can lead to more severe forms of anxiety disorders including
post-traumatic stress disorder. Attention must be drawn particularly to the potential impact on the children who stand the risk of severe Anxiety Disorders and regression of their development, with potential impact on their academic performance it added. To avert mental health problems, Psychiatric Association said
resources must be mobilised rapidly to set up multiple mobile trauma treatment centres in the community. The Association has therefore called on all stakeholders and well-meaning Ghanaians to put resources together to tackle the herculean task of averting the potential Mental Health catastrophe in the Apeatse. Even as
attention and resources are rightfully being channelled towards rebuilding the devasted lives and livelihoods of the victims, we urge all stakeholders to pay close attention to their Mental Health needs as well, because a sound mind, is crucial to a productive restored Apeatse community. Meanwhile, the Psychiatric Association of Ghana has assured that it will
continue to offer specialist psychiatric intervention in collaboration with other sister organisations for victims and families of the affected community. During their visit, psychiatrists provided group psychoeducational and free prescription medications to the victims. To assist victims of the unfortunate incident, government has established the Apeatse Support Fund. This fund is being managed by a five-member committee. The committee will be chaired by former CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Reverend Dr. Joyce Rosalind Aryee.