It is disturbing to know that the majority of our non- governmental initiatives that address plethora of our health concerns such as HIV-AIDS, poliomyelitis and even mental illness are from outside of the country. While I want to agree that our country is a developing one but she is endowed with enough resources to address our health challenges.
We have a serious mental health challenge as a nation that requires holistic intervention. It could be a son who is abusing marijuana has dropped out of several universities or a daughter who could not adjust to marriage and has come down with mental illness. Our corporate business world is charged with deadlines and targets that predispose the employees to mental health problems. The sales executives who are always on the road with little rest may be abusing drugs that can damage their mental health as well as our security guards.
Our soldiers combating the insurgency are strongly predisposed to mental illness due to warfare and loss of colleagues.Those who survive insurgency are inflicted with mental trauma for a lifetime that requires mental health intervention. Long distance drivers who must meet deadlines have to take stimulants that damage their mental health and responsible for many of our road traffic accidents. Our top executives operate under pressure to keep the business going especially in our unstable financial environment and are predisposed to mental health issues that impair judgment with grave consequences. Political foot-soldiers are perpetually on the move strategizing to ensure that their candidates winoften abusing stimulants and other drugs to be active. Young people in our secondary schools and higher institutions are abusing cough syrups, tramadol mixed with spirits as party concoctions.
They come down with mental health problems that impair their judgment and predispose them to antisocial behavior. Marriage ordinarily should safeguard mental health but in our generation hasbecome a battle ground of sorts with profound mental health consequences. There is increasing incidence of homicide and suicide associated with marital conflict. Children brought up in this atmosphere of intense marital conflict are more prone to mental illness later in life.
Many of our teenage mothers lack the emotional and financial resources to nurture their children who will later take to the streets and constitute mental health burden. Beyond our epidemiological surveys, there are apparent signs of grave mental health challenge confronting our society. The population of the homeless mentally ill is increasing without any form of intervention. Even there are those well-dressed individuals at bus stops and other public places who are unduly angry and keep talking to themselves.
Our religious centres are filled with people with profound mental health challenges finding a template to express their paranoid ideas against certain persons. We can take initiatives at addressing this burden by reviewing our parenting strategies. We should learn to communicate effectively with our children and ensure they are properly guided in love.When we suspect a sudden change in behavior of our children or spouse or neighbors; we should endeavor to go for professional mental health consultation. Leaders of business organizations need to incorporate a mental health development program as part of the staff training.
Beyond the physical presence of workers at their duty posts; their mental wellbeing is the most crucial asset in the discharge of their duties.Rather than some sporadic medical consultations abroad; our chief executives need to have a template for mental wellbeing assessment as they review processes in the organisation that are injurious to mental health.Communities working can take responsibility for the homeless mentally ill in their neighborhood by taking them up for treatment and rehabilitation.
No corporate organisation in Nigeria has attempted to build a rehabilitation centre for our youths that are victims of substance abuse or for those that are mentally ill from other causes. Our politicians and other privileged individuals can organise a treatment and rehabilitation program for the mentally ill just as endowments can be named in the memory of our late parents for mental health intervention. There are opportunities for media mental health advocacy programs that can be geared towards public education. Religious organizations can also champion treatment and rehabilitation programs for the mentally ill through the template of their doctrines. Mental health studies can be incorporated into the training of our clergymen so that they can be good channels of referral and intervention. For anyone or group or organisation with such intentions, I can be contacted through my email address. We do not have to always wait for some foreign donors to address our problems.
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