A proposed design model of a rehabilitation centre to facilitate the integration of recovered mental patients into the community.

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In developing countries like Ghana, more prominence is given to physical health than mental health, which is considered by some societies as a curse or a taboo. It is therefore difficult for people to immediately decide what to do when a person is suffering from mental illness because of the myth surrounding it. Instead of reporting mental illness to the hospital for early treatment, people prefer to take them to churches, prayer camps and shrines to seek spiritual healing. However where conditions are conducive towards recovery some people seek for treatment. On the average, 60% of those who seek help in any of the psychiatric hospitals in Ghana are left abandoned by their relatives in these hospitals. These patients when abandoned find it difficult to fend for themselves after recovery and therefore are reluctant to leave the hospital environment. This has therefore resulted in the psychiatric hospitals housing about 30% of their recovered patients in addition to those under treatment in the hospitals. This has therefore created congestion, put a strain on governments’ budget and above all deprived these people from taking full charge of their lives and contribute to economic development. The few who are able to get back into the community normally are left with lives that are emotionally and socially shattered and unproductive. The goal of this proposed psychiatric rehabilitation centre is to help patients to develop the emotional, social, vocational and intellectual skills needed to live, learn and work in the community with the least amount of professional help. Ghana Governments’ policy of decentralization of mental health services can be realized by providing the proposed model of psychiatric rehabilitation centre in all the regions of Ghana. This will help reduce the burden of housing the extra 30% recovered patients in the psychiatric hospitals to 10% patients in 2015 and none by 2020. Thus not only all recovered patients currently in the psychiatric hospitals should be able to fit well and play their role in the society by 2015, future mental patients will also benefit from the rehabilitation centre.
A thesis Submitted to the Department of Architecture College of Architecture and Building Technology Faculty of Architecture and Planning University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture.