Insecurity, kidnapping, rape, others signs of poor mental wellbeing – Psychiatrist

A Psychiatrist, Prof. Taiwo Sheikh, says the increasing rate of insecurity, kidnapping, rape and other social vices in Nigeria are signs of lack of optimal mental wellbeing.

Sheikh, the immediate past Vice-President, Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria (APN), noted that when an individual kidnaps or rapes his or her fellow human being, it was an indication of poor mental wellbeign.

He expressed the regret that optimal mental wellbeing was grossly lacking among greater percentage of citizens, stressing the need for intensified efforts toward restoring stable mental health status of the people.

”A society that is not mentally healthy is a doomed society; mental health is the mother of all health and there is no health without mental health.

“Mental health has become a serious issue because the degree of insurgency, insecurity, kidnap, rape and other social vices is an indication that the citizens lack optimal mental wellbeing.

“By the definition of mental health, it means the condition of being sound mentally and emotionally.

”It is characterised by the absence of mental illness and by adequate adjustment, especially as reflected in feeling comfortable about oneself, positive feelings about others and ability to meet the demands of daily life,” he explained.

The don further said that mental health affected how people think, feel and act, and helped determine how people handle stress, relate to others and make healthy choices.

“This implies that mental health is the ability to live and allow others to live; it doesn’t require one to harm others or cause others pains.

“Therefore, a kidnaper or rapist, who engages in actions that cause pain or harm to others, is not mentally sound,” he submitted.

The psychiatrist said the fact remained that there was lack of optimal mental wellbeing in the country, owing to many underlying mental conditions.

According to him, victims of rape or kidnapping suffer high degree of trauma, which also affects their mental health.

He said that the devastating effects of attacks by insurgents, insecurity and kidnapping across the country had made several people to be in need of psychiatric evaluation.

Sheikh said that victims of these crises were often affected psychologically, while little or no attention was paid to providing them with healthcare that would cater for their mental health needs.

He, therefore, urged the Federal Government to pay attention to mental health by creating sustainable mental health delivery system and ensure that citizens had access to good mental healthcare.

”More attention should be given to mental health of the people, to reduce social crises and create room for them to enjoy optimal mental health wellbeing.

“If the government can pay attention to mental health by providing sustainable and accessible mental health services, citizens will begin to enjoy optimal mental health wellbeing.

“Establishment of more mental health facilities, signing of the mental health bill, subsidising the drugs and integration of mental health services are all necessary for promoting good mental health status of the country”, he said.

These, Sheikh added, would invariably reduce the rate of social vices in the country, to a large extent.

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