Developing Mental Health Laws in Ghana, Kenya, and Zambia


Mental health has become a national health priority in the West; however, it is still an overlooked issue in most African countries. Sixty-four percent of African countries do not have any mental health legislations or fail to adequately promote the rights of people diagnosed with mental illnesses (Mental Health and Poverty Project & World Health Organization, n.d). As a direct consequence, individuals with mental illnesses in African nations often do not receive adequate treatment. This review evaluates the barriers of appropriate development and implementation of mental health laws in Ghana, Kenya, and Zambia. Legislative actions that have been taken in these three countries will be examined in an effort to improve mental health laws, via an analysis of strengths and areas of improvement. Through these analyses, the author hopes to raise awareness about legislations in Africa regarding mental health issues, build a stronger path towards comprehensive mental health laws, and work towards the effective provision of treatment for people with mental health issues in Ghana, Kenya, Zambia, and the rest of the African continent.