It’s unlawful to pose as a psychologist without due qualification - Council

BY JOSEPHINE KUUBAIBONG - Jun 21, 2019 at 2:24pm 100

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It is unlawful for people without the requisite qualification to pose as psychologists or counsellors on television and radio programmes.

This is because such unqualified persons could mislead innocent people, who might be in genuine need of direction in certain areas of their lives.

Reverend (Dr) Dinah Baah-Odoom, the Registrar, Ghana Psychology Council (GPC), said this at a media sensitization workshop, which was held in Accra on Thursday in Accra.

She said the sensitive and complicated nature of psychology, meant that only qualified and certified people could practice it.

"Even if you have a certificate as a psychologist, you cannot practice anywhere if you are not registered," Rev. Dr. Baah-Odoom said.

She said by the Health Professionals Regulatory Act, a person could be prosecuted for posing as a psychologist without being certified.

Rev. Dr. Baah-Odoom said media practitioners should, thus, ensure that they contact the GPC for the inputs of qualified psychologists whenever the need arose, in order to ensure that the public got information from the right sources.

Dr. Akwasi Osei, Chief Executive Officer, Mental Health Authority, said people who were challenged by mental conditions, should not be described by derogatory terms.

He said it was important to realize that such people were first and foremost human, and were experiencing conditions that could affect any other person.

Dr. Osei said with the kind of influence the media wielded in shaping public opinion, there was a strong responsibility on journalists to educate the public adequately on mental health issues.

He said a lot needed to be done to reduce stigmatisation of the mentally challenged because mental health issues potentially involved everyone, and it was only when people were well educated on mental health and had an open-minded approach to the topic, that it could be effectively addressed.

The workshop was organised by the GPC and was attended by a cross-section of journalists from both the electronic and print media.

The Ghana Psychology Council is mandated by law to ensure the highest standards in the training and practice of applied psychology.

The law in Ghana requires that a psychology practitioner has been trained in an accredited institution, has the relevant professional qualification and is duly registered by the Ghana Psychology Council to practice.