Olasupo Azeez

A Psychiatric Consultant at the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Dr. Lucky Onofa has lamented the gross inadequate mental health practitioners to the rising population of mental illness patients, calling for more collaboration between the professionals and traditional mental health healers.

Dr. Onofa disclosed this on Friday at a Mental and Emotional lecture organized by Fresh Anointing International Church, Wasimi, Ogun state.

He said in order to curb mental illness among the people, there must be multi-sectoral approach by engaging the traditional healers on evidence based practice.

He explained that, as a result of the Nigerians cultural belief that mental disease are caused by supernatural powers, there is need for more public awareness and education on the preventive control of the menace.

He equally disclosed that, nothing less than 1.4million Nigerian youths are suffering from mental disorder resulting from depression.

The psychiatrist noted that, though, the figure might have increased from 2015 statistics due to prevalence of drug abuse among the youths recently.

He said the number represented 20% of 7milion Nigerians who are suffering from depression as the commonest mental illness.

According to him, increase in drinking of alcohol and exposure to cannabis substances such as cocaine, marijuana and use of energy stimulator among the youths to derive sexual satisfaction are responsible for the rampaging mental health challenges.

He therefore called on religion bodies and parents to be more vigilant and identify any strange behaviour in their children, saying early detection of warning signs of drug abuse would help to combat any form of depression.

“Depression is one of the commonest mental disorder in our society today. According to 2015 statistics, about 300million people around the world are suffering from depression.

In Nigeria alone, about 7million people which represents 43% of the people suffering from depression and drug abuse in the country and should be looked into.

“Depression leads to suicide and anything that causes self guilt, religious guilt, should be avoided. There’s increase in alcohol consumption, cannabis, cocaine and peer group pressure among the youths which has recorded to about 1.4million youths suffering from mental problem.

“Therefore, to be out of this menace, only total absteinance not prayer can solve the effects of drug abuse in our society. The youths should run away from any psycho-active substances and desist from using energy stimulator to derive sexual satisfaction.”

In his own submission, the General Overseer, Fresh Anointing International Church, Dr. Adegoke Itiola urged Christian leaders in the country not to subject victims of drug abuse or mental illness to prayers alone, but engage the service of medical practitioners.

Pastor Itiola said to inculcate the moral sense of living among the youths, there should be a forum where the youths would be sensitized on the adverse effects drug abuse in the society.


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