On 28/May/2019 / In Articles
The Medical Director, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Dr Oluyemi Ogu, yesterday, urged parents to take the mental health of their children seriously even as she attributed the high rate of suicide to societal pressure. Also speaking, a former Medical Officer of the hospital, Dr Idowu Malomo, blamed the rising suicide rate among young Nigerians to pressure from the society and their respective families. They spoke during the 20th anniversary celebration of the hospital’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service Centre in Oshodi, Lagos.
Ogu stressed the need for parents and guardians to stop putting undue pressure on young people to achieve success by all means. The Medical Director, who lamented the rise in mental disorder among children, disclosed that no fewer than 21,000 children with special needs have been attended to in the Centre in the last 20 years. She said: “The burden of children with mental disorder is so huge. At least between 20 and 25 percent of Nigerian children have mental disorders. Many of these children are homeless. So many things are affecting our children today.
Some are being kidnapped, the issue of child-witch is on the rise. Despite this burden many of these children are not reached and by the issue of the Child Rights Act, they are not supposed to be on the road.” “In 20 years, the centre has gone from a clinic with just one doctor and a nurse to a multi-disciplinary centre where we have most of the experts under one roof. We have reduced the waiting time for our patients and made the burden of accessing treatment for children easier for parents. “Many of the children that we have attended to are now graduates. Some of them are married.
If the centre had not been built, many of the children with special needs would have become useless in the society.” On his part, Dr. Malomo said: “Young people should be encouraged to discover and develop their hidden talents. Everything is not about high grades. This unnecessary emphasis on high grades is causing corruption and examination malpractices.”
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