Abuja, – The Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria (APN) has called for the integration of mental health services into all levels of care more importantly at the Primary Health Care (PHC) level.
Prof. Taiwo Obindo, the President, Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria (APN), made the appeal in a statement signed by the Secretary General of the association, Dr Abayomi Olajide, on Monday.
“This year’s celebration should be trumped with emphasis on integrating mental health into all levels of care more importantly at the primary healthcare level.
“Also, advocacy for passage of Mental Health Bill should get to a Crescendo.
“During this year’s celebration, let us seize this opportunity to talk to stakeholders in the health sector and beyond to support our clarion call for Mental Health Bill passage,’’ he said.
According to him, the World Mental Health Day is celebrated every Oct. 10, with 2022 theme “Make Mental Health For All a Global Priority”.
“Following myriads of mental health challenges and given that less than 10 per cent of mentally challenged individuals have access to mental health services.
“It is imperative to advocate for good access to varying forms of mental health services,’’ he said.
Obindo said that more than 60 million Nigerians are suffering from mental illnesses.
He said the gap was as a result of various factors like the knowledge gap in which people do not have appropriate information about the causes and treatment for mental illnesses.
Obindo said some factors hindering the management of mental illness in Nigeria included myths and traditional beliefs; inadequate mental health facilities and number of mental health professionals.
According to him, the few available mental health facilities are located in the city centres.
He also advocated for the speedy passage of the mental health bill to protect persons with mental health challenges and substance abuse problems.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the World Health Organisation (WHO) launched a suicide prevention campaign in Africa, a region it says has the highest rate of suicide deaths in the world. (NAN)