Mental Health

By Sola Ogundipe & Chioma Obinna

Mental health takes the front burner on Thursday November 24, 2022, as an array of enlightened speakers and panelists gather to deliberate on critical issues of mental health in Nigeria, as the 2nd Vanguard Mental Health Summit kicks off at the Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.  

Among the participants lined up for the exciting event which is endorsed by the Association of Psychiatrists of Nigeria, APN, are renowned psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, administrators, and experts in various fields including fertility and technology.

The event which is supported by 9mobile Nigeria and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc., will be chaired by the President of the World Medical Association, WMA, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, with the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi as Special Guest of Honour.

The Summit, themed “Mental Health in a Distressed Economy”, and sub-themed “Drug Abuse: A new force driving mental health crises in Nigeria” is designed to rekindle the awareness on mental health, tackle the challenges surrounding the management of the various mental disorders, and mitigate their effects on the community.

Click to join the Live stream for Vanguard Mental Health Summit 2022 on the D-day.

Leading the discourse is a professor of psychiatry, Professor Francis Olatunji Aina of the Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Lagos – a member of the Association of Psychiatrists of Nigeria, APN, who will present the keynote address.

The Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Brig. Gen. Mohammed Notable among the speakers is the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA. Brig. Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (Rtd) will speak on the topic: “Growing Problem of Substance Abuse: The NDLEA Experience”.

His presentation will give insight into the major reform of the agency in revamping the country’s narcotics challenge. Also, the details of the ongoing revolution on the issue of drug use, and the rehabilitation of drug users in the country will be showcased.

The Acting Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Dr Monica Eimunjez, will speak on “The Challenges of Tackling Drugs & Substance Abuse and Drug Use in Nigeria”, while the immediate past Medical Director of the Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Dr. Oluwayemi Ogun, will speak on “Mental Health in Children”.

To shed light on the significance of fertility issues among factors that contribute to mental health challenges, the Clinic Manager of Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos,  Mrs Tola Ajayi, will speak on  “Infertility: Coping with Depression”, even as Ms Chineze Amanfo, a talented and dedicated public relations professional, and public relations practitioner from the stable of 9mobile Nigeria, will be on hand to add her voice to the discourse.

Also scheduled to speak is Dr Babatunde Fadipe, a seasoned psychiatrist and consultant psychiatrist at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. Fadipe who is a member of the Suicide Research and Prevention Initiative, SURPIN, an organization established to tackle the scourge of suicide through research, will speak on “Suicide is a medical issue, not a crime”.

Prof Taiwo Lateef Sheikh, the immediate past President of the Association of Psychiatrists of Nigeria, APN, and the Coordinator of the Vanguard Mental Health Chat Room, will speak on the Chat Room and allied issues.

A Deputy Director, Medical Social Services at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Ms. Titilayo Tade, and the Training Coordinator for Suicide Research & Prevention Initiative (SURPIN) who will speak on “Coping with the stigma of mental disorders –  The LUTH SURPIN experience”.

The Chief Consultant Psychiatrist at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Annex, Oshodi, Lagos, Dr. Olufunmilayo Akinola, will coordinate the panelists’ session.

Among the panelists is Dr. Juliet Ottoh, a Clinical Psychologist an experienced therapist with empathy with years of fruitful experience from the Department of Psychiatry, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH.

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