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More Nigerians at risk of mental health issues as economic woes intensify

Many Nigerians were grappling with poverty, which heightened their vulnerability to mental health conditions.

Mad couple in PH [Newswire]

Addressing the press in Lagos on Wednesday, Dr. Obindo expressed deep concerns over the escalating economic hardship gripping the nation.

He emphasised that the current socio-economic strain, compounded by factors such as poverty and insecurity, posed a significant risk of exacerbating mental health issues among Nigerians.

Dr. Obindo outlined a myriad of social factors contributing to this mental health crisis, including the high cost of living, kidnapping incidents, financial struggles, inflation, and the prevalence of traumatic experiences such as rape and child abuse.

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He underscored how these challenges, coupled with ongoing social crises, were taking a toll on the mental well-being of citizens across the country.

Highlighting poverty as a key driver of mental illness, Dr. Obindo lamented the devastating impact of economic hardships, insurgent attacks, and widespread insecurity on individuals' mental health.

He noted that many Nigerians were grappling with poverty, which heightened their vulnerability to mental health conditions.

The psychiatrist underscored the alarming statistics provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO), revealing that over 64 million Nigerians were affected by depression or related mental health disorders.

Dr. Obindo stressed that depression and stress were major predisposing factors to mental illness, further compounding the challenges faced by individuals in coping with economic hardships.

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Furthermore, Dr. Obindo expressed concern over the insufficient mental health infrastructure in the country, highlighting the shortage of qualified psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, psychologists, and other mental health professionals.

He lamented that more than half of Nigeria's mental health workforce had been drawn to opportunities abroad, leaving the nation ill-equipped to address the growing demand for mental health services.

Citing research findings, Dr Obindo revealed that one in four Nigerians was likely to experience a mental health-related issue in their lifetime, underscoring the urgent need for enhanced mental health care infrastructure and workforce development within the country.

As Nigeria grapples with the dual challenges of economic hardship and mental health crises, Dr Obindo's warnings serve as a stark reminder of the pressing need for comprehensive interventions to address the nation's mental health needs and ensure the well-being of its citizens.

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