Category Archives: World Mental Health Day

Mental Health Day: UN advocates stronger investments in services

Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs is to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Target 3.4 seeks that by 2030, there will be reduction by one third in premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promotion of mental health and well-being.

Within Target 3.4, however suicide rate is observed as indicator of premature mortality , therefore suicide is a global public health problem.

United Nation’s Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his message to the commemoration of World Mental Health Day has however called for greater action on the parts of all stakeholders to tackle issues of mental health across the world.

According to him, suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29, noting that mental health has been neglected for too long.

The UN Secretary-General pointed that stronger investment is needed as he expressed worry that ‘every 40 seconds someone makes the tragic decision that life is no longer worth living’

At the Commemoration of the event in the premises of the United Nations Information Centre, Nigeria, in Lagos, Experts and Stakeholders also expressed concern that suicide affects people of all age groups in all countries, and that 800 000 people die by suicide every year.

They also expressed concern that 79% of suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries as there are indications that for each adult who died of suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide.

Those who spoke at the event included representative of the World Health Organisation, Dr Memuna Esan, a Chief Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Mrs Funmi Akinola and Dr Olu Ajomale of the Lagos Mental Health Desk.

They unanimously advocate effective prevention measures that would restrict access to means of suicide, school-based interventions, follow-up care and community support and training of health workers in early identification and treatment of mental health cases

People with mental health conditions deserve dignity and respect – UN

Lagos state, Yaba, former Ps, NGO, WHO, UNICThe WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, has called upon Nigerians to accord people with mental health conditions respect and dignity. In her message on the World Health Day 2015 event held at the UN Information Centre, Lagos, on 9th October 2015, Dr. Moeti said “to promote mental health wellness, people with mental health conditions should not be subjected to undignified and degrading treatment.” Represented at the event by Dr. Irene Isibor from the WHO Office in Lagos, the WHO Regional Director said that her organisation will work with the government to revise legislation and build the capacities of health workers to enable them work better with people having mental health conditions.

The Director UNIC Lagos, Mr. Ronald Kayanja, noted that this year’s World Mental Health Day is commemorated few days after the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals which include targets on health and wellness, inclusiveness and rights. He called upon religious leaders, civil society organisations and the government institutions at all levels to pay more attention to the needs of people with mental health conditions.

In his opening remarks at the event, the Permanent Secretary Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Omodele J. Osunkiyesi, said that the major challenge to the dignity of mental health patients is the public perception promoted by the media and some religious beliefs which attribute mental disorders to spiritual attacks. He said the Lagos State is dedicated to provision of the mental health services to all citizens of the state.

A keynote presentation delivered by D.r Taiwo Oduguwa of the Federal Neuro Psychiatrists Hospital, Yaba, outlined the most common mental health disorders as: depression, seizures, and autism. Dr. Oduguwa called upon the public to desist from calling people with mental health disorders derogatory names such as mad, crazy, psycho, and insane.

The event was co-organised by the Shaping Lives Foundation and the Executive Director, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Opeloyeru, told participants that anyone can have a mental health condition, so families should not be embarrassed when they have one of their own with the condition. The event was also addressed by Dr. Femi Olugbile, a former Permanent Secretary in the Lagos State Ministry of Health. He told participants that the promotion of the dignity of the mental Health Patient is a concerted effort of the public, the government, civil society and international agencies. “We should love the mental Health patients, protect them and see them as people who can contribute to the development of the Society,” Dr. Olugbile noted.

World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.