UG Law Students share their experiences on Mental Health

There have been several studies conducted especially in America, that have shown Law Students as being most challenged mentally

Is allowance instantly strangers applauded

As the World marked Mental Health Day on October 10, we took time to seek the views of some Law Students on the Mental stresses their experience and face as a result of their course of study.

There have been several studies conducted especially in America, that have shown Law Students as being most challenged mentally.

Specifically, a 2021 survey revealed nearly 69% of respondents from 39 Law schools surveyed needed help with emotional or mental health problems in the past.

Some Law Students at the University of Ghana School of Law thus shared their experiences with us.

We first spoke to Comfort.

“That’s true because coming to Law School is a whole new thing. It's very stressful and very demanding and usually, a lot of people expect Law Students to be smart and still excel in how they excelled at their SHS level before coming to do Law. It puts a lot of pressure on us.”

Next, was Daniel.

“Well, I can share my personal experience with you. I've been in the school for two years and I’ll be lying if I say my mental health has not been at stake. We’ve been challenged mentally because the kind of work that you’ll have to consume even before the middle of the semester alone, makes you frustrated.”

Also, Nana Adwoa shared her experience.

“When you come to Law School, there are a lot of materials you have to learn and most of the time, you can't finish but because it's on your course outline, you feel pressured to learn everything. Law School is a lot of pressure. You feel you are not good whether you should stop and go do another thing or not.”

Finally, Portia added another twist to the conversation.

“I feel it because people who do Law, are seen to be smart, they feel they have to put in more to bring the best of outputs so I think it affects their mental health because they want to do the best for people to think they are smart.” 

Any Facilities for Mental Health Assistance in your school and what should be done?

Comfort: “At the UG School of Law, we have a Counselling Committee  which is supposed to address those issues but it's not publicly known, a lot of people don’t know about it.

There should be more sensitization at the national level to educate the local people on mental health because people don’t take them seriously.”

Daniel: “ The University of Ghana does well with that. There’s a Careers and Counselling Centre that offers this Counselling to Students. Even last year, the LSU Conducted a mental Health Talk for Students.”

Nana Adwoa: “ Ok, with my school, the UG, we have a Careers and Counselling centre that provides support for students, not just Law Students and with my faculty alone, we have Mentorship Committee headed by students.”

Portia: “ For the University of Ghana, Career, and Counselling, you can go there for Mental Help but I feel people don’t go there because when we talk about mental health, people think they are mad when they go to seek help.”

According to the World Health Organisation, suicide is the 4th leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds, and also per the Mental Health Act, 2012(ACT 846) in Ghana, the rights of mental health patients are to be ensured in various establishments.

We then ask; To what extent are these rights being observed by your establishment in Ghana?