On a crisp morning of October 14, 2023, the staff of Pantang Hospital together with representatives of Purple Point, The Royal House Chapel, Associazione Nazaionale Per L’inclusione Sociale (ANPIS), Care and Action for Mental Health in Africa (CAMHA) gathered at the picturesque starting point of Ayi Mensah for a Mental Health Awareness Creation Walk. The sun was just beginning to cast its golden rays over the lush mountains, promising a day of unity and purpose.
As the participants an estimated number of 250 people laced up their walking shoes and adjusted their shirts with the mental health awareness logo, excitement buzzed in the air. A DJ with a powerful sound system set the mood by playing uplifting tunes, making the walk interesting and less strenuous. The rhythmic beats encouraged everyone to move to the music as they took their first steps.
At exactly 7:00 a.m., the group, donned in a sea of white shirts emblazoned with the slogan “WORLD MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS DAY,” started their journey towards the endpoint in Peduase, which lay high in the mountains. The path was surrounded by lush forests and breathtaking scenery, providing a serene backdrop for meaningful conversations.
The four-hour walk (climbing, aerobics and descending) was not just a physical journey; it was a symbolic representation of the steps needed to improve mental health awareness. Participants chatted and shared stories along the way, fostering a sense of community and support.
Upon reaching Peduase, a collective sense of accomplishment washed over the group. They assembled for an invigorating aerobics session, which left them feeling rejuvenated and energized. The natural beauty of Peduase, with its panoramic views and fresh mountain air, created a truly therapeutic atmosphere.
After the aerobics, participants descended the mountain, their spirits lifted and hearts open to the cause of mental health awareness. The DJ continued to lead the congregation with motivating music, turning the descent into a joyous and carefree dance down the hill.
Returning to the Pantang Hospital administration block, the day’s events culminated with a hearty Kenkey party. Traditional Ghanaian music set the stage for a dance competition, where participants showed off their best moves. Laughter and joy filled the air as they danced to the rhythm of unity and support.
In the midst of the festivities, participants took a moment to reflect on the importance of their journey. The Mental Health Awareness Creation Walk had not only brought the staff of Pantang Hospital, Purple Point, The Royal House Chapel, Associazione Nazaionale Per L’inclusione Sociale (ANPIS), Care and Action for Mental Health in Africa (CAMHA) closer together, but it had also raised awareness about mental health issues in the community.
As the sun dipped below the horizon, casting a warm, orange glow over the gathered crowd, it was clear that this event had left an indelible mark. Mental health awareness had been elevated, unity had been celebrated, and the spirit of togetherness had been embraced. This memorable day would serve as a stepping stone for more initiatives and greater understanding of mental health in the future.