On 08/Nov/2013 / In Medical News

The Federal Government has rolled out mental healthcare delivery services at community levels for the prevention and control of mental disorders in the country.
   Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu disclosed this in a statement to mark this year’s World Mental Health Day, adding that the National Mental Health Gap
Action Programme (MhGAP) is already being implemented to this effect.
    He observed that mental disorders have significant economic and social impact on individuals, families and communities, and regretted that they are among the non-communicable diseases that have suffered neglect in the past.
    He recalled that mental health was the central agenda of the Commonwealth Health Ministers Meeting in May 2013, saying that the meeting developed strategies for addressing the social and economic aspects of mental disorders, especially the stigma and discrimination associated with Pthem.
   Chukwu called for increased public awareness and understanding of mental disorders, particularly in the elderly in order to eradicate barriers to diagnosis and care, lamenting that that more than 40 per cent of Nigerians continue to erroneously associate mental disorders to supernatural causes.
    The minister noted that there are at the moment nine Federal Neuropsychiatric
Hospitals across the country, besides the Departments of Psychiatry in all
Federal Teaching Hospitals, as well as Psychiatry Units in all Federal Medical
Centres, which provide specialized mental healthcare to Nigerians.
   He said a new National Policy on Mental Health Services Delivery was adopted at the recent National Council on Health (NCH) towards the standardization of training
programmes for various mental healthcare sub-specialities in the universities, the upgrade of mental healthcare facilities at Federal hospitals and provision of specialised services for prompt diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of persons with mental disorders in communities, correctional facilities, detention
centres and prisons nationwide.
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