Mental Health Issues: Nigeria Loses Over N5.7b Annually- Prof. Merino


As the economy is bitting harder, not less than N5.7b is being lost annually by Nigeria government as a result of mental health issues nationwide.

An America based Professor of Psychology, Mrs. Akindotun Merino disclosed this during an advocacy visit to the Ekiti State House of Assembly, stressing on the need to give mental health top priority to promote the general wellness of the people.

Prof Merino, the Executive Director of African Mental Health Alliance (AMHA) hereby lauded the state government for initiating the process and enacting Mental Health Laws in the state while she described the state as a trailblazer that should be emulated by other states.

Professor Merino, an indigene of Odo Ayedun community in Ikole Local Government of the state who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Jars Group of Organisations and President of Jars Education Institute, said that she was in the state to drum support for mental health awareness.

She earlier had an enlightenment talk with groups including
professional bodies and students at the Afe Babalola hall in the High Court complex, Ado Ekiti on the importance of mental health, how to deal with trauma before embarking on an awareness road-walk to the assembly complex.

Groups that participated in the workshop and awareness walk included representatives of the state chapters of National Council for Women Society of Nigeria; Police Officer Wives Association (POWA), the Federal Polytechnic; Women in Technical Education and Development (WITED), Ado Ekiti branch; Gender Mobile Initiative (GMI), Law Students’ Association (LAWSAN) and members of the Human Rights Committee, NBA Ekiti Branch.

Banners with inscriptions such as “we stand against domestic
violence; don’t hide trauma; trauma care is community care; end childhood trauma, among other were displayed by the participants during the awareness walk.

In his remarks, the Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt.
Hon. Funminiyi Afuye explained that the mental health law recently passed by the house and assented to by Governor Kayode Fayemi was designed to provide a legal framework to promote the wellness of the people in the state.

Also, to assist those suffering from mental health disorder that hindered their ability to make right decisions.

He described the passage of the mental health bill as a confirmation of the assembly to boost mental wellness of people in the state.

Rt. Hon. Afuye expressed appreciation to the groups for the awareness campaign and assured of the readiness of the house to partner with interested relevant stakeholders, adding that the assembly would also welcome suggestions on ways to improve the law and enhance its effectiveness.