By Franca Ofili
Dr Gbonjubola Abiri, the Medical Director, Tranquil and Quest Behavioral Health Nigeria says early intervention is the easiest way to help a mental health parent.
Abiri said this while fielding questions on the Asido Foundation Instagram page a Non Governmental Organisation.
Abiri, who is also the Director of the NGO said that Nigerians did not discuss suicide due to the shame and stigma associated with it.
According to her, families need to pay attention to certain complains by the wards and then seek immediate help form an expert.
She said with the theme of 2020 World Suicide Prevention Day ”Preventing Suicide Together’’. there was an urgent help and coordinated action to reduce suicides.
” Those suffering from mental health need support, positive talk and care with early detection of triggers and symptoms
to come out of it,” Abiri said.
According to her, Nigeria is a country with silent culture which also attributes to the problem of mental health.
She called for open conversation around mental health adding that people needed to speak out.
The doctor called on families to show greater love to anyone withmental problem in the family.
Dr Adedotun Ajiboye, a Clinical Psychologist, Department of Mental Health, Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, said
mental health problems and suicide were common globally and in Nigeria
Ajiboye told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that one in every four persons was at risk of developing a mental health problem during their lifetime.
”For Nigeria, that implies that 50 million Nigerians are at risk. And if an average family has four members, then every family has at least one member at risk.
“”The World Health Organisation estimates that nearly a million people die from suicide every year.
“This equates to about one suicide death every 40 seconds.
“Yet there is a lot of ignorance, shame stigma and misunderstanding around mental ill-health in our society.
“We still operate an obsolete Lunacy Act of 1958 that regulates the practice of mental health in Nigeria.
“”A mental health bill is under consideration at the National Assembly,” he said.
According to him, mental health is an integral and important part of health.
He said that mental disorders could occur across the lifespan from children through adulthood into old age such as with dementia.
“They are treatable and can recover and live normal lives,” she said.
Asido Foundation promotes mental health advocacy and reforms with a view to improving awareness, reducing stigma and discrimination and empowering persons with mental disorders and their families.(NAN)