60million Nigerians with mental health issues as experts fingers, child abuse, broken marriages
About 60million Nigerians are said to have mental related issues and many linked to child abuse and broken marriages. This was the position of Dr. Aishatu Armiya’u Medical Director Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Barnawa, Kaduna at an Interschool debate and quiz competition organised to mark the 2023 world mental health day in Kaduna.
Dr. Aishatu Yusha’u Armiya’u who noted that the international day of the girl child coming up barely 24 hours after the international day of mental health was not just a coincidence equally made a case for improved budgetary provision for training and retraining of experts in mental health especially at a period when children and adolescents are at the mercy of social media.
Also speaking, a psychiatrist who specializes in children and adolescents mental health at the federal neuro psychiatric hospital FNPH Kaduna, Dr. Chiagozikam Aniweta in her lecture titled ” Making Mental Health A Universal Human Right” which was held to mark the 2023 world mental health day at the conference hall of the hospital, Barnawa, Kaduna said it is important for pregnant women to opt for delivery in hospitals where qualified medical personnel will attend to them for any little problem at that crucial point goes a long way in determining the mental stability of such an infant later in life
While explaining that the formation of the human brain begins around the first trimester of pregnancy, the expert stated that the actual brain development never takes shape fully until a person is 20 years old hence the need for parents and guardians to be their children’s best friends during the delicate teenage years when youthful exuberance is readily mistaken for psychological maturity
Dr. Aniweta who listed adventurous experimentations, tendency to undertake risky trips , carefree behaviours as well as misplaced priorities as most visible manifestations of the difficult years of young adulthood urged fathers and mothers to be more attentive to the needs, aspirations and ambitions of their children before they choose the wrong heroes in the society to emulate
On the ever increasing intrusion of social media into the lives of the upcoming generation, Dr Aniweta cautioned parents and guardians against exposing the children to the internet too early in life as it would interfere negatively with their creativity, productivity and independent decision – making process
She therefore advocated controlled, systemic and gradual introduction of the educative, informative and entertaining aspects of the social media to children so that on their own volition, embracing the good aspects and discarding the bad sides of the web will be quite easy a decision for them to take.
The psychiatrist also warned the society on what she described as sending the wrong message to the children on the values of life saying low self esteem, bullying and violent behaviours have been found to be more prevalent among children from abusive marriages and broken homes
She therefore made a strong case for active community involvement in promoting mental health while calling on concerned bodies to control the content of movies, music and advertisement with a view to curbing addiction to pornography, drug abuse and materialism threatening to tear apart the very fabric that holds the society together