BY Michael Adesanya/Abeokuta
The Provost and Medical Director of Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Dr Timothy Adewale on Wednesday disclosed that the medical facility admits between 250 and 300 new patients battling mental illness monthly.
The Psychiatrist revealed that one out of four people is likely to have mental illness in any society.
He spoke at a press conference and seminar on Wednesday in Abeokuta organised by the hospital in conjunction with Nigeria Union of Journalists, Ogun State council to mark this year’s World Mental Health Day with the theme “Young People and Mental Health In A Changing World.”
Adebowale revealed that half of all mental illness begins at age 14, but most of the cases go undetected and untreated.
He identified harmful use of alcohol and illicit drugs among adolescents as a major factor causing medical illness, saying it could lead to unsafe sex, dangerous driving and crimes.
The Medical Director called on the National Assembly to pass the Mental Health Bill before it in the interest of Nigeria.
He equally called for government’s investment in social, education sector and evidence-based programmes for the mental health of the young people with a view to tackling increase of mental illness in the society.
His words: “On month basis, we have record of 250 to 300 patient in our hospital. I am not talking about those ones who are already with us. These are the new patients,” he said.
Adewale said “Half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14, but most cases go undetected and untreated. In terms of the burden of the disease among adolescents, depression is the third leading cause. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds.
”Harmful use of alcohol and illicit drugs among adolescents is a major issue in many countries and can lead to risky behaviours such as unsafe sex, dangerous driving and crimes.
“Investment by governments and the involvement of social, health, education sector and the media in comprehensive, integrated, evidence-based programmes for the mental health of young people is essential.
“This investment should be linked to programmes to raise awareness among adolescents and young adults on ways to look after their mental health, and to peers, parents and teachers know how to support their friends, children and students.”