Tema, Mar 13, GNA — Mr Ebenezer Tetteh Kpalam, Founder and President of Kinder Foundation, says most pastors and religious counsellors downplay the effects of psychological problems on their congregants.
Mr Kpalam said instead of encouraging troubled congregants to seek help from appropriate places, they only pray for them giving the assurance that all their problems would be solved.
He reminded religious leaders that God was interested in the total wellbeing of humans, therefore he gave professionals the knowledge to identify, diagnose and treat people with psychological problems.
He added that doing away with professional psychological help could be detrimental to people’s health stressing the need for pastors to encourage their congregants to seek proper help.
Mr Kpalam, who is a Clinical Psychologist, also entreated religious leaders to acquire effective requisite skills that would enable them identify and deal with psycho-social issues.
He noted that even though the church was the first point of call for people in distress, leaders did not have the needed skills to help them leading to the worsening of their conditions.
He further explained that due to the mishandling of such issues, some people resort to contemplate suicide as a means of ending their psychological problems.
The Clinical Psychologist called for more advocacy in the media, schools, churches and other places on simple stress management tips to help people cope with todays’ dynamics in society.
He expressed worry about the recent increase in media reports on alleged suicides among the youth especially females.
Mr Kpalam noted that females felt the burden of disappointments and failures more than their male counterparts as they gave more attention to emotions and pains they go through.
He said it was also easier for problems of females to be identified and solved as their lifestyle could easily give signs of frustrations, distress and pain.
He added that even though females would always seek for help before considering suicide, leaders of churches, relatives and friends were failing them as they were unable to identify the problem and refer them for psychological help.