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Mental Health Act Domestication” is being demanded by APN

People with mental health issues in Nigeria do not have access to adequate care or protection against prejudice since the Mental Health Act is not domesticated, according to the Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria (APN).

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President Muhammadu Buhari finally succeeded in 2023 after two previous revamp efforts in 2003 and 2013 had failed with the passage of the Mental Health Bill.

A person’s rights and treatment options are outlined in this statute for those who suffer from a mental health issue.

There has been no domestication of the act, despite its existence.

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Speaking at a workshop in Abeokuta on Wednesday, the national president of the association, Taiwo Obindo, called on the federal government to domesticate the act quickly. The event was organised by the APN in partnership with the Neuropsychiatric Hospital Aro.

He went on to say that the Act would make sure those struggling with mental health get the help they need.

Additionally, the group advocated for more resources to be allocated to the Federal Ministry of Health to form a Department of Mental Health and for a Mental Health Fund to be established so that individuals in need could get critical services.

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Obindo emphasized the importance of domesticating the Mental Health Act to prevent stigmatization and marginalization of those dealing with mental health issues. We demand that the federal government do something to guarantee that all people can get the inclusive support and care they need.

A compassionate mental health act that addresses the rights of people with mental health issues has recently been passed.

Shows concern by speaking to them. Having access to high-quality medical treatment is really important to them.

They deserve respect, the ability to work together, and healthy relationships, free from prejudice and stigma. Up until the person reaches a certain level of insight, they need to be properly cared for.

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“The federal ministry of health needs to implement the act. Some states, like Lagos and Ekiti, have it domesticated, and other states are working on it. However, we should begin at the top and ensure that the federal government can implement it before attempting to influence the states and local governments,” he added.

Among the workshop presenters, Dr. Yesiu Kareem emphasized the need of bringing the Act into the country’s legal system, noting that forty million people in Nigeria deal with some type of mental illness.

“Extreme variety in care Treatment based on scientific evidence is only available to 10-15% of people suffering from mental health issues.

Four percent of gross domestic product goes into healthcare, with three percent going toward mental health.

Out of 200 million people, less than 300 psychiatrists are available (1:1 million). 5-7 out of 10 Nigerian psychiatrists are looking to leave the country, he added.

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