The Federal Government has said an estimated 40 million Nigerians are believed to be suffering from mental disorders.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Abdulaziz Mashi Abdullahi, stated this at the on-going mental health action committee and stakeholders workshop in Abuja.
Abdullahi, who attributed the country’s high burden of mental disorders to inadequate attention paid to mental illnesses, misconceptions and lack of awareness on the part of the Nigerian public, said more people will be disabled by psychological challenges than complications arising from HIV/AIDS, heart disease, accidents, and wars combined by the year 2020.
He identified ways of addressing the country’s mental health burden to include: fast-tracking the enactment of the Mental Health Act as well as the resuscitation of the national mental health action committee for the coordination of stakeholders’ activities on mental health and psychosocial supports in the country.
He said: “In Nigeria, an estimated 20%–30% of our populations are believed to suffer from mental disorders. This is a very significant number considering Nigeria has an estimated population of over 200 million.