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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Psychiatrists Push For Mental Health Law To Stem Rising Cases Of Suicide

By Victor Ernest

Lagos-based psychiatrists, Dr Moruf Mustapha and Dr Oluwadamilola Ajayi, have stated in a joint statement that passage of a mental health law would go a long way in addressing the huge burden of mental disorders and prevent suicides in the country.

Danger of depression

According to the doctors, one of the commonest mental disorders with significant unhealthful and widespread notoriety is depression.

They said depression is not profound sadness; it is not just an inability to cope with life experiences; it is not caused by a character or personality flaw; it is not a moral failing, neither is it a spiritual affliction.

The psychiatrists claim depression is an illness, a mental illness, that may end in mortality, possibly through suicide.

Mustapha and Ajayi said that the Nigerians had been expressing divergent views on the possible cause of the March 19 suicide committed by a medical doctor, Dr Allwell Orji, but talked little about the possibility of a mental disorder.

The doctors said that more than four-fifths of all suicides could be attributed to mental illness, with depression having a large proportion of the statistic.

Dearth of psychiatrists

The psychiatrists also decried dearth of psychiatrists in the country, noting that there are less than 500 practicing psychiatrists in Nigeria, which has a population of more than 180 million people.

This translates to a ratio of one psychiatrist to about 360,000 citizens.

”In the middle of this challenge, doctors, old and young, specialists and generalists, surgeons and physicians, are negotiating their way out of the country’s borders,” added the Nigerian psychiatrists.


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Source: ConciseNew.Global

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