Well, I honestly don’t know if there exist an equation or theory to prove the above statement right or wrong yet it is what seems to be the reality. Living in a populous city of Accra is hectic. Not only are the poor faced with the challenge of surviving in the city. Even the rich who drive to their various places in their comfortable vehicles have to encounter different levels of stress such as the hectic traffic, the humidity; increasing cost of products and services has made life in the city become unbearable.
The stress level that the average Ghanaian is faced with in the city is so much that it is no surprising news that one out of every five Ghanaian has a mental disorder. So what is the cause of this social problem that Ghanaians especially the working class in the urban areas are faced with? Why do we have so many retards on the streets of Accra lately? One thing is obvious, not all of them are of a natural cause.
The English Oxford Dictionary defines insanity as a state of deviation from the acceptable way of doing things in society. Insanity has no traceable history because it has been part of us since the beginning of civilization.
Growing up, I knew that insanity was something primitive, associated to the village. Children made fun of the madman on the street and people will just look on unconcern. Today, the mad people are all over the place in the city. So I want to look at why the issue has become very critical, why we have increasing number of mad people especially in our capital city of Accra.
The Rural Urban Migration Factor
Since the last decade, the capital city has seen an unprecedented rise in its population due to the number of people moving from other parts of the country seeking better living conditions through employment. This has as a result, increased the human resource available for the few job vacancies in the city. There is high unemployment, congestion, slums and increased crime rate all due to the populous nature of the city.
People are promised jobs and better living conditions in the capital city by friends and relatives only to be disappointed upon arrival in the city. Such people either are unable to locate these relatives or friends. They are forced to strive in the city to survive and fend for themselves. This difficult economic situation results in serious stress that eventually leads to mental disorder. So this is one critical reason why there are so many mentally retarded people on the streets of Accra today.
This serious issue is even worsened by the fact that our mental hospitals are in poor conditions. No available drugs, poor salaries and working conditions and other challenges that makes is impossible to admit more patients.
Poor parenting has brought about high juvenile delinquency in the city. Single parenting has become a common issue in the city. Young people who are victims of broken homes are today as a result of no control engaged in drug abuse and other criminal activities. Majority of these youth end up on the streets as mental retards after abusing drugs due to serious addiction. The situation keeps deteriorating and its time that it is addressed to maintain sanity on our streets in Accra.
I believe that every country needs it youth to develop so we can’t watch our young men and women go mad loitering about on our streets. The necessary actions must be taken now.