Hello beloved followers,
I’ve been in Ghana about 6 weeks now. I decided pretty quickly that I wanted to work with the Ghanaian, rather than ex-pat, community because of my background in serious mental illness and complex trauma, and interest in learning about all things mental health here.
I work part time at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital. I am starting in the Social Welfare unit, which is responsible for discharge planning, case management and some life skills coaching in the community. Dr. Osei, the clinical director, and I agree this is the best place for me to learn about the system and culture of mental health here.
My other part-time position is at the New Horizons Special School, a well-run and well-supplied non-profit for students with developmental disabilities, mostly cerebral palsy, autism and various intellectual disabilities. I provide trauma therapy to a few older teens and young adults. I will have more to write about what it’s like to assess and treat that in a cross-cultural context, but that’s another post.
I have been reading A LOT on cross-cultural psychology and psychological anthropology (if you think those sound like they overlap, you would be correct). I will start slow and get good clinical supervision with a Ghanaian who has worked with the latter population and is currently getting her PhD in psychology in the U.S.