The Federal Government estimates that around 20% to 30% of Nigeria’s estimated 200 million population suffer from mental disorders.
This was disclosed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Abdulaziz Abdullahi, at the Mental Health Action Committee and Stakeholders’ Workshop in Abuja on Monday, November 12, 2018.
He lamented about the inadequacy of the attention that mental disorders get in the country and advocated for better awareness in the country.
He said, “There are many different mental disorders, with different presentations. They are generally characterized by a combination of abnormal thoughts, perceptions, emotions, behavior and relationships with others.
“Mental disorders include Depression, bipolar affective disorder, schizophrenia, and other psychoses, dementia, intellectual disabilities and developmental disorders including autism.
“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.
“Unfortunately, the attention given to mental health disorders in Nigeria is inadequate. The level of awareness of the Nigerian public on mental health issues is also understandably poor, and with lots of misconceptions.”
Abdullahi also estimated that more Nigerians will be disabled by psychological challenges than complications arising from HIV/AIDS, heart disease, accidents, and wars combined by the year 2020.
“This is an astonishing statistic and possesses serious questions as to why mental health disorders are not given the needed attention that it currently receives,” he said.