KNUST Collaborates With Johnson And Johnson To Fight Depression

A Ghanaian prestigious university; the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi (KNUST) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to partner with Janssen; a regional subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceuticals, in the institution’s quest to enhance mental health support.

The partnership would see to Janssen supporting KNUST to tackle the negative effects of mental health issues within its educational sphere. Thus, the pharmaceutical company would collaborate with KNUST to conduct significant research that would address the pressing issue of mental health and its impact on student’s academic pursuit.

Speaking at the ceremony which was held at the Council Chamber of the university, the Vice Chancellor; Prof (Mrs) Rita Akosua Dickson emphasized that the partnership would become a major achievement for the university. ” The partnership would provide students with robust mental health services, particularly giving the growing student population,” she stated.

Mr. Henry Osei-Agyekum, the Country Manager of Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies and Johnson and Johnson Ghana, expressed their shared vision of supporting KNUST in tackling depression. He also extended his gratitude to Dr. Osei Kwaku Wusu-Ansah; the Director of the University Hospital, Mr. Ebenezer Baah-Boateng; Senior Assistant Registrar at the University Hospital and Mrs. Yvonne Baiden; Assistant Registrar, International Programmes Office (IPO) for their instrumental roles towards the realisation of the partnership.

Background of mental health issues on KNUST campuses

KNUST has over the past years been headlining major print and press media outlets on what they say is an alarming hike in depression cases amongst its students and the many suicide attempts on its campuses.

However, according to the Vice Chancellor, each of the six colleges have two assigned professional counsellors, together with trained peer counsellors and e-counselling services, which would curb the problem in the interim while the university researches for a sustainable long-term solution.

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