Mental Health: 1 in 4 Lagosians struggles with clinically diagnosable mood disorders – Sanwo-Olu

Mental Health: 1 in 4 Lagosians struggles with clinically diagnosable mood disorders – Sanwo-Olu

  • State to create strong network of operations with private sector to curb menace

Deputy Governor Dr. Kadiri Hamzat at the conference

The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, decried the growing scourge of poor mental health in the state, stating that one in four Lagos state residents struggles with one mental health disorder or the other.

The Governor who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Kadiri Hamzat, disclosed this at the second edition of the State’s Mental Health conference with the theme “Responding to the Mental Health Needs of a 21st Century Megacity” while pledging to create a strong network of operations towards addressing mental health in the state.

Sanwo-Olu said: “Mental Health is one of those issues in our society that is still very largely misunderstood and whose conversations still happen in secret. This is despite the fact that we all know someone who is struggling with one form of mental health challenge or the other, like depression, anxiety, substance abuse and those we have lost to suicide.

“There is no doubt that conversations around mental wellbeing have begun to trend in the last few years, and there is data to suggest that there is a growing incidence of many of the common mental disorders in our society.

“It is stated that, 1 in 4 Lagosians struggles with clinically diagnosable mood disorders like anxiety or depression, the menace of substance abuse is on the rise, and will likely become a national epidemic if we fail to address it frontally.

“The issue of drug and substance abuse is, of course, a symptom of a larger concern, because our young people use these stimulants as a form of escape from the pressures of life usually experienced in mega cities like Lagos. The influence of social media through which young people are exposed to new and dangerous lifestyles have not helped matters as far as the issue of mental health is concerned.

“Many of us have either heard of, or personally know people who have lost their lives by suicide, and more often than not, we hide these tragedies for fear of shame, and stigma.

“This not only has social implications but also places a huge burden on our economy, as experts say that depression alone is estimated to cost at least US$ 800 billion in lost economic output globally, a sum expected to more than double by 2030,” the State Governor said.

Earlier in his speech, the Commissioner of Health, Lagos State, Prof. Akin Abayomi, while listing the mental health mandate and road map in the state said the State government is constructing 500-Bed Psychiatric Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre, Ketu Ejirin.

 He said: “The State also has a 12-bed ward in the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, which it is upgrading to 40-bed ward, creation of psychiatric services in GHs, pilot integration of mental health in Primary Care and employee wellness centre, Alausa among other programmes.

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