By Gami Tadanyigbe
Secure-D-Future International Initiative (SDF), an international NGO has called on the Federal Government to develop policies to address mental health challenges in the country.
Sa’adatu Adamu, Founder of the organisation, made the call on Wednesday at the 3rd Annual Mental Health International Conference in commemoration of the UN World Mental Health Day.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the conference theme is : “Break-D-Silence”.
Speaking on “Mental Health Institution, Intervention, Accessibility, Information, Policies and Role of Government”, Adamu said there were lots of mental health issues in the society, hence the need for government to come up with policies that could address same in the country.
“It is important to understand that mental health is as good as physical health. We have seen some insurance companies asking organisations to register their staff in terms of physical health challenges, yet nobody is talking about mental health.
“Mental health medication is very expensive; this is the reason government should intervene in mental health policies to address the challenge.
“Government needs to understand that it is not only mad people on the streets that have mental issues, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) deal with mental ill people not on the streets on a daily basis.
“Government also needs to understand that productivity can only come from a healthy mind,” she said.
Adamu called on parents to develop a good channel of communication and relationships with their children to enable them know their mental health status for a better future.
She said that being hard on children did not translate to instilling discipline rather “it is doing them more harm than good”.
The SDF Country Director, the Chide Omali, said the conference was aimed at creating awareness on institutions and organisations that deal with mental health to find out their accessibility and interventions in the country.
He said SDF had carried out several projects in the country from Trauma Counselling to Mental Health Workout with over 90 people and a few counselling sessions with clients.
The Deputy Corps Commander (DCC) FRSC, Mrs Adeshiyanbola Ayorinde, called on motorists and the public to desist from using phones, while driving for the safety of all road users.
She attributed the majority of road crashes in the country to mental health disorders and recklessness on the part of motorists, saying there was need for regular mental checks on drivers to prevent road crashes. (NAN)