Historical Background

During the period of colonization and before the introduction of scientific medicine, mental illness was treated with herbal medicine and spiritual rites. In the very early days of colonial rule, mentally ill patients were left alone to their own fate. However, on 4th February 1888, by a Legislative Instrument (LI) under the signature of the then governor, Sir Edward Griffiths, the old High Court of Victoria Borg was converted into Lunatic Asylum.

The warderns then looked after the patients. No medical treatment was given and no real distinction made between the requirements of the mentally ill and those of the criminal. Over crowding in the prison promoted the building of a new hospital at Adadraka in 1904, and was called Lunatic Asylum; the present Accra Psychiatric Hospital. It was commissioned in 1906 to accommodate 200 patients.

About 110 patients were initially admitted into the new hospital under the charge of 16 untrained attendants. The hospital consisted of four wards; Female, Male, General and Criminal wards. The Lunatic Asylum later underwent modifications and extension into the Psychiatric Hospital with a bed capacity of 600.