50% of people in N’East suffering mental health illness – Psychiatrist Association

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The Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria (APN) has said about 50 per cent of people living in the northeast region are suffering from mental health illness due to prolonged insurgency and economic hardships currently bedevilling the country.

APN President, Prof. Taiwo James Obindo, disclosed this during the 54th Annual General Meeting held in Maiduguri on Friday, with the theme, “National Mental Health Reform; Prospect and Strategy of Implementation of the National Mental Health Act 2021.”

Prof. Taiwo noted that many of the populace required basic mental health services that could not be afforded due to their economic status.

“The high sycophant substances have increased mental health numbers. The factors we have now can make someone have mental health illness. I think it is important to appreciate those who offer psycho-social support intervention to people who are being displaced by the insurgency.

“It is about 25 per cent as of 2006 but with insurgency, kidnapping and all forms of insecurity, the figure has increased but when we look at the northeast we should be talking of 50 per cent of the populace.

“When we look at the figure we can be sure of more than a decade of insurgency; it could be up to 50 per cent.”

He said the pre-conference medical outreach by the APN reached 500 patients, who were attended to and benefited the host community in Maiduguri.

“We treated a total of 500 patients with all different kinds of illness. If we had more time you can be sure over 5,000 would be reached. We were able to see quite a set of patients,” Prof Taiwo said.

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