Mental Health Issues: Stakeholders Unite to Tackle Challenges in Kwara

 

In a bid to address the growing concern of mental health issues in Nigeria, stakeholders gathered at a one-day program in Ilorin, Kwara State, to discuss ways to tackle the challenge.

The event, themed “Breaking Barriers: Transforming Mental Health Care in Nigeria,” was organized by Yolly Initiative, a non-governmental organization dedicated to eradicating the stigma associated with mental health issues.

Dr. Sa’ad Aremu, a consultant psychiatrist at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), emphasized the need for affordable and accessible healthcare for people suffering from mental health issues, urging the Federal Government to prioritize this critical aspect of overall health. Aremu also stressed the importance of using appropriate language when addressing mental health issues, discouraging the use of the word “madness” to describe those affected.

The program featured presentations from various stakeholders, including the Kwara State Commissioner for Health, Mrs. Amina El-Imam, who highlighted the government’s initiatives to address mental health challenges, including training and retraining healthcare professionals and conducting community outreach programs. Dr. Jumoke Oladele, a lecturer at the University of Ilorin, delved into the complexities of mental health challenges, emphasizing the need for innovative solutions like the far-leaf digital platform to provide access to mental health support and resources.

The event also featured a presentation by the state Director of the National Orientation Agency, Mr. Segun Adeyemi, who commended Yolly Initiative’s efforts to raise awareness about mental health and expressed the agency’s readiness to collaborate in taking the message to remote areas.

The convener of the event, Mr. Yahaya Buhari, emphasized the link between poverty and mental instability, reiterating Yolly Initiative’s mission to eradicate the stigma associated with mental health issues and rally support from all stakeholders.

Overall, the event brought together stakeholders from various sectors to discuss the critical issue of mental health and explore ways to address the challenges faced by individuals and communities in Kwara State and beyond.”