Professor of Public Health and Chairman, Lagos State Primary Healthcare Board, Prof. Akin Osibogun has expressed concern over increasing cases of mental health issues in Nigeria, disclosing that more than 40 million Nigerians are suffering from mental health disorders.
Speaking during the maiden edition of Vanguard Mental Health Summit in Lagos, Osibogun said that the situation was made worse with the current insecurity in the country while the country continually experiences brain drain in the area of medical experts.
He noted that the predicament of people suffering mental health-related issues is compounded as a result of stigmatization, discrimination, denial and lack of understanding.
According to Osibogun: “Recent estimates suggest that not less than 40 million Nigerians have one mental issue or the other and we have less than 200 psychiatrists in the country at the last count. I honestly don’t know how many are left after the current wave of brain drain.
“Mental health issues have generally suffered from denial, lack of understanding, stigmatization and discrimination which are all compounded by a difficulty in initiating a public discussion of the issue.”
Osibogun, however, who commended Vanguard Media Limited for being a socially responsible organization, said: “This reputable media organization has succeeded in bringing together an array of distinguished professionals from different but inter-connected sectors to brainstorm on the issues and profer possible solutions.”