Healing and Mental Illness in Ghana

Why Prayer Camps in Ghana are Sometimes Alternatives to Psychiatric Hospitals


  • Francis Ethelbert Kwabena Benyah Åbo Akademi University




prayer camps, healing, mental health, hospitals, psychiatry


Prayer camps serve as an environment for healing rituals and continue to play an important role in the lives of many Ghanaians spiritually, economically, and socially. In this article, I present the reasons for prayer camps’ continuing reliance as institutions of healthcare for individuals suffering from mental illnesses in Ghana. The article argues that prayer camps will continue to exert public influence and play a dominant role in the treatment of mental health sicknesses due to underlying religio-cultural beliefs and notions associated with illness, especially from the traditional Ghanaian Akan perspective and the inadequate resources at the disposal of state-owned psychiatric hospitals.

Author Biography

Francis Ethelbert Kwabena Benyah, Åbo Akademi University

is a Ph.D. candidate in the Study of Religions at Åbo Akademi University, Finland.




How to Cite

Benyah, F. E. K. (2023). Healing and Mental Illness in Ghana: Why Prayer Camps in Ghana are Sometimes Alternatives to Psychiatric Hospitals. Temenos - Nordic Journal for Study of Religion, 59(1), 101–123. https://doi.org/10.33356/temenos.109270