Friday, October 11, 2013

1 in 3 Nigerians Suffers From Mental Illness

One in three Nigerians experienced some sort of mental illness in 2013, according to a new report from the World Federation of Mental Health, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The Founder of the Mental Health Foundation, Dr Emmanuel Owoyemi, said that 64 million Nigerians out of an estimated total of 150 million had one form of mental illness or the other.

“Sixty four million Nigerians today are going through one form of mental illness or the other because everything that would cause mental illness is on the increase in Nigeria.

“Poverty is on the increase, hopelessness is on the increase, insecurity is on the increase. There is so much panic at heart, anxiety, high level depression.

“And also, there is no mental health policy in Nigeria right now; the National Assembly has been delaying in passing the Mental Health Bill.

“None of the psychiatric hospitals in Nigeria today has up to 1000 beds and we have over 160 million people.

“We have about 150 psychiatrists; we have 34 neuro-surgeons in the whole country, meaning that, one point something million Nigerians is to one psychiatrist.

“How many people can one psychiatrist attend to within the 1.2 million or 1.3 million?

“So, we are not doing enough. The human capital is not there, the facility is not there, and yet everything that could cause mental illness is on the increase in Nigeria.”


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