By Nathan Nwakamma
Yenagoa, – The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has trained 200 personnel across the country on mental health.
The training was conducted by Instinct Resource Services (IRS) in Port Harcourt.
According to a statement signed by Managing Director, IRS, Mr Ayuba Fagbemi, the training is part of efforts of the NIS Comptroller-General, Mr Idris Jere, to enhance productivity.
Fagbemi lamented that despite being an integral part of wellbeing, mental health has being neglected in the country.
Quoting statistics from the World Health Organisation, he said 450 million people suffer from mental disorder globally while 25 per cent will have mental illness at some point in their lives.
He said the research also showed that emotional intelligence accounted for nearly 90 per cent of what set high performers apart from others.
Fagbemi warned against the negative effects of psychoactive drugs and advised the people to shun drug abuse in any form.
He said: “The Nigerian Immigration Service and its current leadership under the Comptroller-General, Idris Isa Jere, is strategically positioned and has invested in equipping its personnel with the right skills and motivating the personnel towards ensuring superlative performance”.
He explained that the training equipped the officers with emotional intelligence skills in the workplace.
It also focused on teamwork, identifying symptoms of mental disorder, harmful effects of psychoactive drugs on the body system and how to promote mental wellbeing in the workplace.
In his remarks, the Comptroller of Immigration in Rivers, AJ. Kwasau, said that the training was initiated to enable the officers take care of their mental health and remain productive in the discharge of their duties.
Kwasau quoted the National Bureau of Statistics as stating that an average of 50 million people suffer from mental illnesses in Nigeria.
It also attributed cases of suicide, murder, anger, depression and drug abuse to mental health conditions.
“We, as officers and men of the Nigerian Immigration Service have been entrusted with the responsibility of guarding our great nation at every entry and exit point, communicating and handling people from all parts of the world.
“It is important to note that it takes a mentally sound and stable personnel to be able to carry out our statutory duties as the gatekeepers of the country.
“It is for this reason that the service has deemed it necessary to train officers on how to take care of their mental health and remain productive in their daily activities,” he said.
Kwasau added that the capacity-building programme would aid the personnel to enhance interpersonal relationship, level of self-awareness, self-motivation and emotional disposition. (NAN)