Popular reggae artist, Majek Fashek, says mental health is very important in the lives of people and a nation.
Fashek spoke at the 46th Annual General Conference and Scientific Meeting of the Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria (APN) in Lagos on Wednesday.
Fashek said, “Mental health is not a yardstick to look down upon people.
“There is need to create a system to manage or rehabilitate people who are not mentally balanced and as well create more awareness on mental health challenges and appropriate management.
“Government should look into how to rehabilitate mental health patients as most of them have great potentials and talents’’, Fashek said.
Fashek himself recently suffered mental imbalance after he was wrecked by drugs and alcohol abuse.
He only recently came out of rehab.
Dr Richard Adebayo, the Acting Medical Director, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Yaba, said mental health Act was necessary in the country.
Adebayo, added that mental health was integral to the stability of any nation.
“Most of the burning issues confronting us as a nation, such as insecurity, economic crisis, just to mention a few, have grave mental health concerns.
“The health impact is often unquantifiable; and we know there is no health without mental health.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have a workable and realistic policy direction, no mental health Act to guide us and protect the rights of our patients.
“It is critical to deliberate on vital issues that will promote the very change we desire and enlighten our policy makers that mental health is very crucial in our collective drive towards the positive change’’, Adebayo said.
He added that lots of people were well dressed, “but mentally, they are not okay.
“Consequently, to kick-start our security system, economy and general life as a nation, good mental health is very crucial.
“It will also help practitioners to guide their practice, help our people to be rehabilitated and not to be abandoned’’, Adebayo said.
Prof. Joseph Adeyemi, President of APN, said the conference would draw experience from globalisation.
The theme of the conference is: “Mental Health as a Driver for Positive Change.’’