By Doosuur Iwambe
The Head, Department of International Relations and Diplomacy, Chrisland University, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Dr. Olakunle Olawunmi, has blamed increasing mental health issues among Nigerians on unemployment and insecurity.
He also identified other factors to be limited access to quality care, infrastructure deficit and lack of access to finance.
Dr. Olawunmi stated this at the unveiling ceremony of a Non-Governmental Organisation, Initiative for Mental Health and Peace Sustenance in Abuja.
He called on the government to address the identified causes and strengthen the system, as well as ensure gender equality.
“The decadence of drug abuse among our youths is an issue of concern. The home is now malfunctioning and parents have abandoned their domestic responsibilities on their children.
“Mental health is an ability to cope with stress. Part of the strategies to ameliorate this is for governance to be strengthened, as well as ensure gender equality in the system,” he said.
Also, Dr. Ejike Oji the Senior Special Assistant to the immediate past FCT Minister, Malam Mohammed Bello, called on the government to take, “A holistic look at the root causes of mental health challenges before taking steps to address them.”
He urged the government to build more hospitals to take care of people with mental health challenges.
Dr. Oji said since IMHPS has been championing the cause of instigating the government to address mental health challenges, it would develop concept notes for people to support it.
He disclosed that 72 per cent of the country’s population was under the threat of mental health challenges, adding that a lot of quality things must be put in place to achieve mental wellness in the country.
“The direct effect of mental health, especially in the Niger Delta Region, is a vicious cycle. The young people are already reacting to it negatively by blowing up the oil pipelines, kidnapping and other vices.
“The reaction of youths has led to a bigger problem. The only way the country can overcome this is to make itself responsive to the direct investment that could enable somebody from Kano or Lagos to invest in the Niger Delta region,” he said.
Ambassador Bolowei Ogoba, a co-founder of the NGO, said that his team would continue to create more awareness about IMHPS.
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Ogoba, who was given an AU Agenda 2063 Ambassadorial Assembly Award, said that Nigerians must stop using negative words about the country and its citizens.
According to him, Nigerians must start to uphold the right words to change the story of the country.
Ogoba said that the Ambassadorial Award given to him was a privilege, noting that it is for him to actually impact more on people.