Volunteer for Mental Health and Psychology in Ghana

Kumasi, Ghana

263 People are researching this program

Plan My Gap Year

New Program
(621 Reviews)
  • From $714 USD for 2 Weeks

  • 2 - 12 Weeks

  • Select Start Dates

  • 18 And Older

Description

Overview

If you have experience in mental health and psychology, travel to Ghana with Plan My Gap Year to gain insight into the country’s mental health sector! As advances have been made in recent years to improve Ghana’s support for patients in this area, inadequate staffing for mental health facilities means less support and lower-quality support for those most in need. As a volunteer, you will learn about how psychiatric services operate in the country, as well as the history and new developments in mental health care. Not only will you learn from professionals at the hospital (and depending on your experience, lend a hand with their work), but you’ll also take part in community outreach programs to help garner support for those afflicted with mental illnesses.

This program is open to those studying or looking for further study in psychology or mental health. The amount of involvement you will have in hands-on care is dependent on your background experience, program length, and willingness to be involved - this is at the discretion of the doctor that will be supervising you. If you have little or no experience in mental health, you will have an observational role in the program.

Arrival and Orientation

This program starts on Sundays. You will arrive to Kotoka International Airport in Accra on your selected start date, and be greeted by a local staff member or appointed driver holding a sign with your name on it. From there, you’ll head to a hostel near the airport for your first night, and after that, you will be taken to the volunteer house near Kumasi, where you will get settled in before starting your volunteer program.

Accommodations

Your first night in Ghana will be spent at a hostel near the airport in Accra, with shared, air conditioned rooms. After that, you will head to the volunteer house that’s located a 45-minute drive from the Kumasi city center, where you’ll find restaurants, convenience stores, and ATMs. There is a small shop close to the volunteer house, and the community you’ll stay in is friendly and inviting.

The house is basic but comfortable, and each room can accommodate up to six people in same-sex rooms, with mosquito nets and bedding provided. The bathrooms have western style toilets and cold showers, and there are fans provided throughout the house. There is wifi access (though may be intermittent) and a common area with a TV, DVD player, lounge, and outdoor seating area. A member of the PMGY team will live at the house, which is gated and secure. There are frequent power outages and water shortages throughout Ghana, so you should be prepared to be flexible with accommodations you may not be used to at home.

June through September are PMGY’s busiest volunteer months, so you may be placed at an alternative location such as a nearby guest house or a different volunteer house. You will be provided with breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day at the volunteer house. Breakfast usually consists of bread, cereals, milk, spreads, and tea or coffee; lunch often consists of noodles or rice; and dinner can include rice, chicken, eggs, spaghetti, stew, yams, fufu, or soup.

Field Conditions

During your time in Ghana, you will work at the Tafo Government Hospital in the Tafo District - this hospital is home to two clinical psychiatric departments, employs one psychiatric doctor, and community psychiatric nurses. You also may have the chance to spend time learning from staff in the psychiatric wing at Manhiya Hospital.

When you first arrive, you will learn about the country’s historical approach to mental health services, and more recent developments in supporting patients. Throughout your stay, you will learn from doctors and nurses about how they conduct consultations, including assessing patient records, evaluating progress, measuring diagnoses, and prescribing medicine.

As well, you will take part in a community outreach program that aims to remove stigmas around mental illnesses and provide greater support for those suffering from them. You will have the opportunity to lead mental health talks in communities and schools, reach our directly to people suffering from mental illnesses, and take part in home visits for people who have visited the hospital.

Your Impact

The amount of direct, hands-on work that you’ll take part in is dependent on your background experience, length of stay on this program, and your willingness to get involved, and is up to the discretion of your supervisor on the project. However, you will have the opportunity to observe treatments, learn about mental health care and advances being made in Ghana, and engage in community outreach programs to help remove stigma surrounding mental health issues, and provide quality care and support to those suffering from them.

Location

Kumasi, Ghana
  • Where you will be volunteering
    Tafo Government Hospital, Tafo, Ghana

    Volunteers will work in the psychiatric department of a hospital.

  • Where you'll be staying
    Kumasi, Ghana

    Volunteers will stay in a volunteer house.

  • Nearest Airport
    Kotoka International Airport

Cost

This program starts from two weeks at $714. The registration fee is included in the pricing.

2 Weeks
12 Weeks
2 Weeks

$714 USD

What’s Included

  • Certificate of completion

  • Regular program inspection

  • 100% financial protection

  • Live pre-departure webinars

  • Comprehensive volunteer handbook

  • Unlimited email and telephone support

  • Dedicated PMGY travel mentor

  • 24-hour US-based emergency support

  • 24-hour in-country support

  • In-country orientation

  • Airport pickup

  • Meals

  • Accommodation at volunteer house

What’s Not Included

  • Criminal background check

  • Visa

  • Return airport transfer

  • Travel insurance

  • Transport to project

  • Airfare

Project Start Dates

This program starts on the first and third Sunday of each month year-round.

Organization

Founded in 2011 by volunteers for volunteers, Plan My Gap Years works with local communities in the developing world towards long-term sustainable goals. We know there is no better way to travel and make a positive impact in the world. Our structured programs create the perfect platform for you to see the world, meet like-minded people and engage in meaningful volunteer work. We have teams in the UK and in your host destinations who will support you 24/7 throughout your time with them. Furthermore, every project on our network is regularly risk-assessed by our UK team to ensure their setup is safe and that their volunteers are making a positive impact. There is also a great social element to our programs. We put you in touch with all of your fellow volunteers via Facebook before you set off. Our projects receive volunteers from around the world throughout the year, so even if you’re travelling solo, you’re going to meet heaps of people along the way.

Reviews (621)

Kelsey Pearce

Nov 27, 2017

I volunteered for two weeks in Nepal teaching Monks English. Everyone in the program was so lovely welcoming and willing to help you with anything that you needed. However I was a bit disappointed when signing up for a two week teaching experience to only get to the monastery on ... +more

Josh Gee

Nov 24, 2017

I was in India for 2 weeks as a medical volunteer and I really enjoyed my time there.

I found the pre-departure information to be very helpful and reassuring so I was able to land in India feeling confident. Upon arriving at the volunteer house I was greeted by Vishy ...
+more

Ella Patenall

Nov 23, 2017

I spent 3 weeks in Sri Lanka (1 week turtles project 2 weeks renovation in the morning and orphanage in the afternoon.)

I felt very supported by the friendly approachable PMGY team throughout
my trip and was provided with sufficient information prior to starting it.

The accomodation was great (especially ...
+more

Rosie Davis

Nov 21, 2017

I just got back this week and I had an amazing time! The food was great and all of the people there and in England have been a huge support and I met some lovely people! The project itself was amazing as well and 2 weeks went by too quickly!

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