Federal Government has been urged to implement the Mental Health Act 2021 and allocate more resources to mental healthcare in Nigeria.
A consultant psychiatrist Professor Sadique Kwajaffa Pindar, stated this in an interview with Radio Nigeria in Yola.
According to the psychiatrist, the prevalence and incidences of mental disorders worldwide are very high as it is one of the leading causes of disability hence addressing mental health is crucial.
The psychiatrist emphasized the importance of considering mental health as an essential aspect of overall well-being.
Professor Pindar also explained the importance of addressing the issue of stigma surrounding mental health conditions while highlighting how individuals with mental health conditions have been discriminated against and stigmatized, leading to loss of rights and lack of access to necessary mental healthcare.
He further emphasized the importance of recognizing mental health as a fundamental human right, for everyone regardless of their background, adding that there is a need to protect individuals from factors that may contribute to the development of mental health disorders.
Professor Pindar explained that employers can create a supportive environment that prioritizes mental health for their employees, adding that preventing mental health conditions involves avoiding excessive workload and pressure and maintaining a friendly workplace that respects human rights.
He added that it is also crucial to ensure that workers’ take-home pay is sufficient to meet their day-to-day needs and provide workers with access to healthcare, social services, and financial support during retirement.
The psychiatrist lamented a lack of understanding of mental health in Nigeria and emphasized the need to raise awareness through advocacy campaigns and organizing conferences and seminars.
Reflecting on the theme of the 2023 World Mental Health Day, the consultant psychiatrist mentioned the recently enacted Mental Health Act and urged the federal government to focus on implementing the policies and fully financing mental health services for the population.
World Mental Health Day is observed on 10th October every year to increase awareness, reduce stigma, and promote good mental well-being.
The theme for World Mental Health Day 2023 is “mental health is a universal human right”.