FG – 30 Percent of Nigerians Are Suffering From Mental Illness

According to the Federal Ministry of Health, about 20 to 30 percent of Nigerians are suffering from mental illness. Abdulaziz Abdullahi, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, said this at the Mental Health Action Committee and Stakeholders’ Workshop in Abuja on Monday. Mr. Abdullahi said with a population of 200 million, the country had a high rate of mental illness. This puts the number of people with mental illness at 60 million.

He said, “There are many different mental disorders, with different presentations. They are generally characterised by a combination of abnormal thoughts, perceptions, emotions, behaviour 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 to 30 percent 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.

“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. ”

He said, “There are many different mental disorders, with different presentations. They are generally characterised by a combination of abnormal thoughts, perceptions, emotions, behaviour, 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 to 30 percent 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. ”

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