L-R: Head of Service, Lagos State, Hakeem Muri_Okunola, the Deputy Governor, Lagos State, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat and the Commisioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi at the Lagos Mental Health Conference held in Lagos
The Lagos State Government says a Five Hundred Bed Psychiatric Hospital and Rehabilitation center to care for the mentally disordered individuals in the society will soon be completed in Ketu Ejirin, Local Council Development Area of the state.
The Governor of Lagos State, Mr
Babajide Sanwo-Olu made this known while delivering a keynote address at the Lagos Mental Health Conference held in Victoria Island, Lagos.
He also announced that, the second phase of the project would be a One Thousand bed Psychiatric Hospital and Rehabilitation centre aimed at further addressing poor Mental health issues in the state.
Represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, Mr. Samwo-Olu said that on completion of the projects, the state would have more facilities to treat those with poor Mental Health Issues in Lagos state.
According to the Governor, research has shown that one in four Lagos residents struggles with clinically diagnosable mood disorders like anxiety or depression.
He stressed that the menace of substance abuse had alao been observed to be on the rise and might become a national epidemic if government failed to address the issue as expected.
Governor Samwo-Olu pointed out that the issue of drug and substance abuse called for more concern as young people use these stimulants most times as a form of escape from some pressures usually experienced in mega cities like Lagos.
He added that the influence of the social media through which young people were being exposed to new and dangerous lifestyles had not helped matters as far as the issue of mental health was concerned.
In his contribution, the Lagos State Commissioner for health, Prof. Akin Abayomi said the government needed to provide more Mental health facilities going by the limited health facilities attending to those experiencing different forms of Mental disorder in the state.
He noted that records had shown that there had been an increase in cases of mental health particularly since the outbreak of the Corona Virus which had brought about lots of stress and pressure on the people due to the harsh economic condition.
He stressed that common mental health conditions rampant in the society today include, depression, anxiety, alcoholic disorder and substance abuse.
Prof. Abayomi said as part of the Lagos state government’s commitment to addressing the problem of mental health in the state, it developed the Lagos State Mental Health Policy and Lagos State New Mental Health Law which was passed in 2019.
He said that the law was expected to protect those suffering from stigmatization because of their illness and sets the framework for developing an effective and robust Mental Health Service for all Lagos residents.
In an address, a former President Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria, Dr. Taiwo Sheikh said the issue of Mental Health had become a serious issue in the country that more attention had to be given to the sound mental health of the people to avoid some social crises.
While he commended the Lagos state government for the giant stride it had made in providing a state-of-the-art mental health facilities for the people, he urged the government to also make the Psychiatric Hospital and Rehabilitation center a research and training hub for mental health experts across the nation.