Traditional healers and mental health care in rural Ghana

Tsey, Komla (2001) Traditional healers and mental health care in rural Ghana. The Australian Review of African Studies, 23 (2). pp. 20-30.

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This paper examines the role of traditional healers in the treatment of and care for people experiencing mental illness and the factors influencing care options in contemporary rural Ghana. Since the early 1990s the author has been following a cohort of traditional healers and their apprentices at Botoku, a rural community in the Kpandu district of southeastern Ghana. Two main types of traditional healers provide treatment for people experiencing mental illness among central Ewe people. People experiencing mental illness in rural Ghana are more likely to access the services of traditional healers than psychiatry services. In the context of the stresses of life associated with rapid and pervasive social change in Ghana, the ancestral village continues to provide relatively better protection against mental illness vis-à-vis alien urban settings. Six case studies demonstrate that the causes of mental illness are embedded in complex religious and cultural beliefs and practices, mediated by the pressures of rapid socioeconomic change in a predominantly subsistence society.

Item ID: 31290
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1447-8420
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Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2016 03:11
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1104 Complementary and Alternative Medicine > 110499 Complementary and Alternative Medicine not elsewhere classified @ 30%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111714 Mental Health @ 70%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 30%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920209 Mental Health Services @ 40%
92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920503 Health Related to Specific Ethnic Groups @ 30%
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