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Reps move to tackle suicide, other psychiatric conditions

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Jonas Ezieke, Abuja

 

The House of Representatives Committee on Speciality Healthcare has decried the glowing number of suicides and other psychiatric health conditions of the citizens of Nigeria calling for urgent steps by the relevant health authorities to tackle the rising cases.

 

This happened as the Association of Psychiatrist of Nigeria has called for a full implementation of the Mental Health Act 2021 to bridge the mental health gap in the country.

 

These positions were canvassed at an interactive session and stakeholders engagement titled: ‘The Need to Prioritize and Implement the Provisions of the Mental Health Act 2021 to Tackle Suicide and Suicidality in Nigeria.

 

Chairman of the House Committee Hon.(Dr) Alex Egbona in a remark said that the House on Wednesday October 4, 2023 considered a bill to tackle mental health challenges in Nigeria.

 

He further said that the stakeholders engagement is expected to provide ideas for the establishment national mental health counseling centres across the states of the federation.

 

The lawmaker also said that there is need to conduct a needs assessment for the full of the Mental Health Act 2021.

 

The House Committee helsman also stated that Sec 6 of the enabling Act makes provisions for the establishment of the Mental Health Fund.

 

At the session, key stakeholders including the Federal Ministry of Health, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency and the Association of Psychiatrists of Nigeria canvassed the reduction of work related stress to tackle  rise in suicide cases nationwide

 

Also in his contribution, Hon Alexander Mascot (Abia,PDP) said that there is the urgent need to establish mental health facilities in the nation’s correctional centres.

 

The House Committee Chairman Hon.Egbona also pledged the commitment of the committee to work with the stakeholders to ensure that there is full implementation of the Act to address metal health issues in Nigeria.

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