A Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Vincent Udenze, on Wednesday, urged governments at all levels to provide improved mental healthcare services to patients and their families.
Udenze, who is the Medical Director of Synapse Services Centre, Lagos, made the call
in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He stressed the need for government to support charity organisations and stakeholders who took care of people with mental cases picked on the streets by providing more beds and medications.
He said “mental illness is a no-respecter of person, age, sex, social-economic status, religion because anyone is capable of developing it.
“Families should stop hiding their loved ones who have mental health difficulties because they are scared.
“If you suspect that all is not well with you mentally or someone else around you, the first thing to do is to seek help by seeing a clinician.
“However, even in developed nations like the UK where there is a National Health Service, there is still a huge gap filled by private health providers and mental health charity organisations in providing care to patients.”
The psychiatrist highlighted three major causes of mental illness namely biological, psychological and social factors.
He explained that the biological factor was about genetic vulnerability, noting that “if
someone is born into a family where the father and mother suffer from depression,
the person is likely to develop same.
“Psychological factor deals with people who are very negative ,who do not think that they are good enough, who are judgmental of themselves.
“They always have negative cognitive style and more likely to develop depressive illness compared to someone who is positively motivated and driven.
“Social factors include losing job and failed relationships which could trigger possible mental illness.”
Udenze said early symptoms of mental illness include behavioural difficulties, challenging behaviour, struggling at school.
“Others include inability to concentrate at school, disorderly behaviours, getting paranoid, feeling low in mood.
The consultant said that having relevant mental health sub-specialisations in the country especially in the private health care sector would make it easier to spread the services.
He added that such specialised services include neuro-psychiatry, learning disability, early intervention psychosis and psychological intervention.
According to him, people can improve on their mentalities by eating healthy, exercising and reading.
He emphasised that balanced diet, healthy relationships, being good, nice and positive thinking could really help mentalities. (NAN)