Trauma Awareness and Resilience (TAR) Initiative, an NGO, has called on stakeholders on mental issues to join the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to scale up the campaign and awareness on mental health matters.
The National Coordinator, TAR, Mr Francis Onyekwue, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Thursday to commemorate the World Mental Health Day.
NAN reports that World mental health day is observed on Oct. 10 every year worldwide.
The day is set aside for individuals, communities, organisations and CSOs, to raise awareness, educate and inform the world on mental health issues.
It is also a day to advocate against stigma and to mobilise efforts in support of mental health.
He said government at all levels, corporate organisations and individual philanthropists should rise up and join CSOs to fight the menace in the society.
“This can be achieved through the provision of funds and also to create enabling environment for them to operate.
“This will help the civil societies to reach out to as many communities as possible, through community engagement.
“Also, government should try and decentralise the campaign and treatment of mental health cases to the grassroots, or inculcate it into the primary healthcare system,” Onyekwue said.
He said Nigeria was ranked the sixth country in the world with suicide deaths, adding that the development was left to be desired.
According to WHO, every year, close to 800,000 people take their own life and there are many more who attempt suicide, representing one person in every 40 seconds.
“Suicide is the result of a convergence of risk factors, including but not limited to genetic, psychological, social and cultural risk factors, sometimes combined with experiences of trauma and loss.
“Depression is the most common psychiatric disorder in people who die by suicide.
“About 50 per cent of individuals in high income countries who die by suicide have major
depressive disorder at their time of death.“
He, however, called on Nigerians, regardless of age, sex, religion, background, nationality to join the media campaign to light a candle in recognition of those with mental health challenges, saying they were not alone.
Onyekwue said the lighting of the candle was also to pay respect to those that died from suicide, adding that it was also to assure those having suicidal idealization to “Pause, re- think and speak out“.( NAN)