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Event Details

Event Date: 2016-03-14       Event Time: 6 pm - 7:30 pm

Event Title: Global Psych Dinner: Dr. Moh Milad & Rick Wolthusen, "Brain Awareness Week in Ghana"

Location: MGH Bulfinch 225 (Trustees Room)

Description: As a part of Ghana’s first Brain Awareness Week in September 2015, members of the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry teamed up with the German NGO On the Move e.V. and the South African NGO STAESA to provide hands-on community education and to jumpstart an open discussion on mental health. Dr. Mohammed Milad and Rick Wolthusen will present on the work they did in Ghana.

During their trip, the team led presentations on a variety of subjects related to the brain. These talks covered subjects such as sleep deprivation, stress, alcohol use, and the ways in which daily life factors can affect the brain’s ability to function at full capacity. The team also organized hands- on activities for the community’s students, creating a fun environment where students learned about basic neuroscience, such as the function of a neuron, the anatomy of the brain, and the steps they can take to protect their own brains from harm.

Beyond education efforts, the goal of the project was to foster an open dialogue about culture and mental health within the Ghanaian community. While efforts are being made to improve the capacity of mental healthcare in Ghana, it is imperative for the community to first recognize the ways in which their society interacts with neuroscience and mental health. For this community, there is a long road ahead before their society’s mental health needs are fully acknowledged, accepted, and treated—but after these three weeks, they may be a few steps closer than they were before. Come hear team members from the program talk about what they accomplished during their time in Ghana, and what they hope to establish going forwards.

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