Dr Collins Badu Agyemang, President, Ghana Psychology Association (GPA) Monday implored the Media not to allow unlicensed counsellors or psychologists to use their outlets to comment on pressing issues.
He said the media ought to verify from the GPA on the status of the counsellors and psychologists they empanel on their shows or programmes to ensure that wrong persons don’t proffer advice which may end up damaging the psychological wellbeing of their audiences.
Dr Agyemang gave that advice at the launch of the 2021 Ghana Psychology Week in Accra.
The week-long event is being held on the theme: “Psychological wellbeing: The Bedrock of Nation Building”.
Dr Agyemang said news about road crashes, the COVID-19 pandemic, violent cases, amongst other happenings in the country, could heighten anxiety in citizens.
He said the internet had exposed children to many vices and social values that would shape their lives.
Therefore, psychological studies should be introduced at the Junior High School and Senior High School levels to shape the mindset of the younger generation, the GPA President suggested.
Dr C. B. Wiafe-Akenten Brenya, Social psychologist and Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology, University of Ghana, Legon, said most often, the parenting styles used to groom children did not meet their cognitive, social and emotional needs, which later caused lapses in their psychological wellbeing.
Thus, he called on the Government, developmental partners and other disciplines to hold regular sessions with the media, community members, schools, amongst others, to equip parents and caregivers with additional knowledge that would put them in a better position to provide effective parenting to children.
Dr Brenya noted that when an individual’s psychological well-being was adversely affected, it also affected the person’s orientation, utterances, actions and productivity.
This, he said, was an indication that psychological well-being was of critical importance and must be taken seriously to enhance nation-building.
Dr Inusah Abdul-Nasiru, Senior Lecturer, Industrial and Organizational Psychologist, UG, Legon said nation-building must first begin with the individual through his or her hard work and commitment.
At the organisational level, he said, where employees were satisfied with colleagues and overall working conditions, they were more likely to work happily and be more productive.
He said the media played a major role in promoting the psychological wellbeing of citizens by spreading calmness and being circumspect in their reportage.
Dr Abdul-Nasiru said information spread had a major link with the promotion of peace and security, as such, journalists should desist from spreading the news that heightened tension in the nation.
As part of activities to mark the celebration, the GPA has scheduled media engagements, seminars and talks in various schools, workplaces and communities from Tuesday, August 17, 2021, to Thursday, August 19, 2021.
On Friday, August 20, 2021, a public lecture and an annual general meeting would be held at the Kofi Drah Hall, University of Ghana (UG), Legon at 1600 hours. This would be preceded by a Moslem Thanksgiving Service.
The Association would on Saturday, August 21, 2021, pay a visit to its new site at Dodowa, and also hold a thanksgiving service organised by Seventh Day Adventists Church.
On Sunday, August 22, 2021, there would be a final Sunday Church Thanksgiving Service to crown the celebration.