Lagos State tackles mental health challenges, builds first-class facility

 By Abimbola Mohammed

As part of its commitment to Lagosians, the Lagos State government has taken the bull by the horns in tackling mental health challenges in the state, while also demonstrating its commitment to healthcare services, research and rehabilitation by building a first-class mental health institution in Ketu Ejirin.

Speaking during the Lagos Mental Health Conference with the theme: “Responding to the Mental Health Needs of a 21st-Century Megacity” at the Landmark Event Centre, Oniru, Lagos, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the state governor represented by Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, his Deputy said that the state is building a 500-bed psychiatric facility and 1000-bed rehabilitation facility.

He noted that the facilities, when completed, will be one of the largest in West Africa, if not in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Our commitment to mental health is symbolized by the development of the Lagos State Mental Health Policy and Lagos State New Mental Health Law which was passed in 2019. This law provides for the protection of those suffering from stigmatization because of their illness and sets the framework for developing an effective and robust Mental Health Service for all Lagosians.

“We recognize the difficulties in accessing mental health services not necessarily because of non-availability of these services, even though the existing institutions and resources that provide these services are stretched to the fullest. More important factors are the lack of courage to come forward and seek help or insufficient awareness of where these services can be accessed.

“As a government, we are working to partner and collaborate with other sectors to create a strong network of operations, facilities, and programmes that will address some of these challenges.

“Our goal is to reduce by one-third, premature death through prevention and treatment, and promote mental health and well-being, in keeping with the Sustainable Development Goal for Health,” he explained.

Recall that stakeholders in the Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) had earlier reiterated their commitment towards proving mental health inclusivity in the industry to ensure that they continue to deliver quality and top-notch solutions.

During the President’s Dinner and Awards night, Femi Adelusi, the president of the Media Independent Practitioner Association of Nigeria (MIPAN) express the support of the association towards creating awareness around mental health.

His words: “As a leading professional association, MIPAN will be supporting existing initiatives that continue to build awareness around mental health for improved inclusiveness in Nigeria from 2022, to encourage inclusiveness, increase awareness, support technical initiatives/ tools that address the issues, provide resources and platforms that reduce the native impacts and reduce the social stigma associated with people facing this challenge.”

According to him, MIPAN will be partnering with renowned Dr. Maymuah Kadir this year in specific activities around mental health to drive awareness and management to improve inclusiveness around mental health in Nigeria.

As for Steve Babaeko, President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), said: “We are starting from a holistic national point of view. We created campaigns that will bring more attention for people to care more about their mental health, and went one step further by enlisting ‘Mentally Aware Nigeria’ and other professionals for our members and people who work for us to consult in the most professional and confidential situation.”

Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and can contribute to his or her community.

According to BMC Psychiatry, Globally, 450 million people are predicted to be suffering from psychiatric disorders. However, in our day-to-day activities, mental, physical and social health are the necessary components in every individual.

In addition, according to a report by WHO, it says globally more than 25% of people are experienced mental illness at some point in their lifetime. The Nationwide Institution of Mental Health (NIMH) in the United States also estimates that 1 in 5 people (20%) would be affected by this condition at some point in their lives.

Mental health becomes more challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic recession have negatively affected many people’s mental health and created new barriers for people already suffering from mental illness and substance use disorders.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    No comments found.