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Over 20 million Nigerians are mentally sick — House of Reps

House of Representatives has said more than 20 million Nigerians are suffering from one mental illness or another.

The green chamber quoted the statistics of a World Health Organisation report, noting 3 out of 10 Nigerians suffers mental illness.

To ameliorate this, the House mandated its Committees on Health Institutions and Healthcare Services to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Health towards improving mental health facilities around the country and further carry out serious sensitization of Nigerians on this issue.

The Reps said; “According to the World Health Organization statistics, over twenty million Nigerians are currently suffering from various degrees of mental illness or disorder without psychiatric health care.

“3 out of 10 Nigerians have one form of mental illness or the other, presently there is no mental health legislation in Nigeria.

“However, the Nigerian mental health policy is the only framework that has access to mental healthcare, dealing with mental and neurological disorders in Nigeria, discouraging stigmatization against persons with mental disorders and has institutionalized standards for Psychiatric practice.

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“The increase in cases of depression is traceable to multifactorial inter and intrapersonal issues which leads to suicidal death in the country and this requires urgent attention.

“Nigeria has only 130 Psychiatrists with over 20 million citizens suffering from mental disorders.

“With the few functional Mental Health Facilities and inadequate mental health Practitioners in the country, mental health cases are left for traditional practitioners, hence the upsurge in mental health in Nigeria.

“The statistics are troubling and the continued lack of a legal framework on mental health in the country will simply cause the situation to degenerate”

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