As the world mark the Mental Health Day, the management of Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta, Ogun State, has disclosed that the medical facility admits over 36,000 patients suffering from mental illness every year, adding that one out of four persons in the society suffers mental illness.
The disclosure was made by the Provost and Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Timothy Adewale, at a press conference organised in Abeokuta to mark this year’s World Mental Health Day with the theme: ‘Young people and Mental Health in a changing world.’
Adewale revealed that half of all mental illnesses begin at age 14, while most of the cases go undetected and untreated.
He identified harmful use of alcohol and illicit drugs among young Nigerians as a major factor causing mental illness, saying it could lead to unsafe sex, reckless driving and crimes.
The medical expert, however, called on the National Assembly to pass the Mental Health Bill in the interest of Nigerians before the situation gets out of hand.
He also called for government’s investment in social, education sector and evidence-based programmes for the mental health of young people with a view to tackling increase of mental illness in the society.