In order to ensure mental well-being, Nigerians have been advised by a Consultant Neuropsychiatrist, Dr Maymunah Kadiri, to develop the habit of going for mental health evaluation quarterly.
Kadiri who emphasised the need for prioritisation of mental health assessment and screenings among citizens gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.
She said it is wrong to have the belief that mental health evaluation is exclusively meant for those with mental challenges.
According to her, every Nigerian and indeed all humans are prone to mental illness because there is no immunity to mental illness
Kadiri pointed out that most victims of rape and kidnapping suffered high degrees of trauma, which could also affect their mental health.
“Every individual, irrespective of status, background, tribe, or religion, is expected to access such services, at least, once in three months.
“This is because every human, irrespective of class, faces one societal ill or the other as well as stress and other challenges that can affect his/her mental health.
“Such challenges are predisposing factors to depression and anxiety, and can lead to suicide, if not properly checked,’’ she said.
The neuro-psychiatrist emphasised the need for Nigerians to change their misconceptions and mindsets that only mad people needed psychiatric and psychological services or were expected to go to psychiatric hospitals.
Kadiri said in some cases, individuals might not even know that they are facing challenges.
”This is where the psychiatric evaluation comes in, to help identify the problem and render early intervention before the situation escalates.
“Mental health evaluation and maintenance culture in Nigeria is very low, thus making it difficult for people to access healthcare, get diagnosed or even acknowledge the fact that they may be suffering from some kind of mental health issue.
“When a typical Nigerian hears the word ‘mental illness,’ his or her first thought will be madness or some sort of aggressive behaviour.
“This is a misconception and wrong belief that needs to be corrected,” she said.
She, therefore, advised the public to make out time to visit psychiatrists on regular basis to ensure their mental stability.
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