Nigerians suffering mental health issues over current challenges – Psychological Association

MAKURDI – The Nigerian Psychological Association, NPA, has said that all Nigerians are suffering from unstable mental health issues on account of the current challenges in the country.

Speaking at a Two-Day Capacity Building Training on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Benue state, organised by the NPA in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, WHO, and the Benue State Ministry of Health and Human Services, in Makurdi, the State Chairman of the NPA, Dr Iorlumun Shimakaa said the development was a source of worry for experts in the sector.

He pointed out that without sound mental health, no one would be able to realise his or her full potential in any given field.

Dr. Shimakaa said “We all agree that everybody in Benue state particularly and in Nigeria cannot boast of having stable mental health because of the present challenges that have affected our mental health generally.

“And we also agree that there cannot be good health without mental health. For that reason, it has become imperative that we come together as partners to deepen our knowledge and improve the services we are delivering at our various platforms of intervention.

“So with this capacity building, we will not just come up with the increased level of knowledge but we will also set up our level of intervention in the various places where we have been intervening.

“But most importantly for us in Benue state, the Nigeria Psychological Association has risen up to its responsibilities to take the lead as the lead advocator for mental health and for mental health issues in the state. For us, we have assumed this role and responsibility with all seriousness.

“It is our hope that at the end of this strategic capacity-building training, it will be a foundation for all of us to have a harmonized intervention in mental health. And we will also come up with a refined pathway for mental health activities. All of us as collaborators will put our hands on deck to ensure that in our respective spaces, we will follow the pathway we are going to define for mental health intervention in Benue state.

The Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr. Yanmar Ortese, represented by the Mental Health Desk Officer in the Ministry, James Ngutswen said the state had accorded attention to the issues of mental health and well-being of the people with the establishment of treatment services in all the 276 Council Wards of the state.

He said the refresher training was timely as it would also boost the capacity of the service providers in the state.

He said, “As a government, we will continue to advocate to ensure the mental wellbeing of every individual in the state to help them fulfil their full potential in the state.”

Present at the training were participants from Civil Society Organizations, CSO, the academia, and hospitals among others.

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