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Psychology

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Mental health, well-being as well as the prevention and treatment of substance abuse have been recognized by the United Nations and are now the third in the sustainable goals agenda of the United Nations.

Mental health, well-being as well as the prevention and treatment of substance abuse have been recognized by the United Nations and are now the third in the sustainable goals agenda of the United Nations.


Indication of mental illness in this society includes insensitivity and extreme wickedness being meted out on others, increased and unremorseful marital infidelity among couples, increase of child sexual, physical and other abuses, great level of uncounted substance use disorder that cuts across people of different ages and gender, increasing level of illiteracy even in the face of low cost education, a conscienceless followership and leadership, etc.
Our hospitals are ill-equipped to carter for the needs of individuals suffering from behavioral, emotional, neurological, learning, as well as developmental disorders. In most cases, we have these people (the mentally ill) roaming about the streets as beggars and causing great nuisance around the cities.
Mental well-being as a sustainable development goal means that treatment must be available and affordable to the sick; and where the sick and their relatives cannot afford the required treatment government should suffice. The height and breath of discrimination shown to the mentally ill in our society is detrimental to national or societal development. This is so because when people are labeled or stigmatized as mentally ill without any attempt at helping them recover, the individuals become liabilities and costly rather than being assets and part of human capital.
Mental health is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or hiscommunity.” Mental health problems cover diseases like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, insomnia, substance use disorder, etc. they have crippling, destructive, disabling and dysfunctional effects on sufferers and unlike physical disability, individuals suffering any manner of mental disorder cannot function normally, fulfill their daily duties (either work- or relationship- related); they could be dangerous not just to themselves but also to the people around them. Many of those involved in criminal and dehumanizing acts like suicide, rape, senseless killings, extreme wickedness, and other bizarre behaviors, are mentally ill.
To this people the igbo idiom 'ihereanaghiemeonyeara, o wunwanneya' applies. Generally speaking the mentally ill has no insight into the problem or what he is doing, as such he cannot be ashamed of his actions or appearance but his relatives will be. Hence, the relatives and society to which a mentally ill person belongs suffers great loss socially, culturally as well as economically and this has direct consequence on development. Imagine your boss, spouse, friend, child, parent, or leader (religious or political) being mentally ill, how would the two of you work together to achieve any goal? This is next to impossible except the mentally ill gets required and adequate help.
Unfortunately, the least mental illness is more complicated and tricky than most physical ailments. Therefore, resolution of a mentally related dysfunction is not something that can be handled using over the counter drugs, neither is it limited to expertise in one profession. Adequate and appropriate treatment of mentally related disorder demands a comprehensive treatment plan.
Comprehensive treatment of the mentally ill will at least involve the following
1.    Family service
2.    Child care service
3.    Vocational service
4.    Medical service
5.    Educational service
6.    HIV/ AIDS service
7.    Legal services
8.    Financial services and
9.    Housing and Transportation service
On this note, we call for a restructuring or enhancement of the Nigerian health sector so that it may be inclusive of all units necessary for adequate treatment of citizens in order to ensure a healthy society. When this is done, it will go a long way to curb expenditure due to foreign treatments thereby limiting excesses that come from this angle. A well structured and managed health system in Nigeria will not only ensure a healthy society but it will also provide breakthroughs for national development. Health is wealth and human development is central to sustainable national development. All stakeholders must therefore put hands on deck to help our health system to develop a holistic approach to health care provision.

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