The Association of Psychiatrists of Nigeria (APN) says depression, suicide and drug abuse have become a national emergency in the country.
The association disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja by Oluseun Nubi on behalf of Raphael Ogbolu, APN chairman.
The statement was issued ahead of the association’s 49th annual conference scheduled for November 27 to 30. The theme of the conference is ‘Brain Drain in mental health: The Impacts and solutions’.
The chairman said the theme of the conference is apt following the increase in the emigration of qualified mental health professional, even in the face of increasing mental illness and already depleted manpower.
He said “the conference specifically aimed at discussing mental health issues of Nigerians and ways to promote general wellbeing. We therefore call for urgent attention of all and sundry to address the dreaded monsters”.
Ogbolu said the conference is also aimed at addressing the lingering delay in the passage of mental health bill.
He explained that the bill had remained in the national assembly since the 1980s with successive legislative sessions being held year in year out without it being passed into law.
He identified the bill as a fundamental document, noting that if passed into law, it would address issues of stigmatisation and improve mental health awareness.
According to him, the mental health bill will also increase mental healthcare facilities, increase manpower, protection of those with mental illness, their social cohesion and inclusion