By Correspondent in Minna.
A Mental Health Awareness Advocate in Niger state,Obiageli Wakaso,has called for an end to stimatisation of mental health victims and related issues in Nigeria.
Wakaso,who made the call in Minna while speaking at the 2021 World Mental Health Walk.said the call become necessary because ‘every individual has element of mental issue but only differs in magnitude, possible triggers as well as the level of occurence.’
She expressed sadness that lots of victims of mental health could not access medical help in hospitals, Minna General Hospital in particular, because the facility lacked privacy,’ the most important ante-dote for someone with mental health challenges.’
Wakaso, however, called on persons with traces of mental health challenge to adopt alternative measure of coming out of it by, ‘staying away from people that deny them joy and happiness’ and come of their challenges.
“As much as I agree that prayers, yoga and exercise can help, counselling, medication and therapy are some of the best ways to treat mental health disorder,” she said.
The mental health advocate told participants at the occasion, after the exercise which started at the Tunga round-about and terminated at the Obasanjo Complex round-about with Journalists as most participants,to prevail on government all levels to invest in addressing mental health challenges.
She said: “We do not have trauma centres in Niger state or experts to deal with large number of mental health challenged people and the situation of mental health ward and needed medical assistance at the Minna General Hospital is not encouraging.
“Government should try and establish a private ward, conducive enough for victims, because people with mental health challenges are shy and embarrassed to come out publicly.
” You do not expect them to go to public hospitals where people will see them crying during their moments of crisis. Privacy is needed when offering privacy and seeking help.
“The worst and most wicked thing you can do to someone with mental health challenge is to stigmatize, taunt or discriminate against he or her when in actual sense all that they need is a little bit of love and kindness to get over their challenges.”
“Also avoid anything that makes you stressed-up, keep away from people who criticize and put you down and avoid competitions. Study yourself and your system to know if you have the symptoms of mental health disorder which included the inability to sleep, eating normally lot or not eating at all”.
Other symptoms of Mental Health Challenge which should be looked out for by parents and relatives in their loved one she said included; experiencing constant depressed and having lack of energy like any other normal individuals.