The Federal Government has concluded plans to establish mental health clinics in each senatorial zone in South East.
The MD, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu (FNHE), Dr. Jojo Onwukwe, disclosed this at a South East Zonal Meeting on Mental Health held in Owerri on today.
Onwukwe said the project would be funded by the Federal Ministry of Health, FNHE, and Okparavero Memorial Hospital, Sapele.
He said the move was to ensure that people living in the South East have access to good mental health care.
Onwukwe said the program would review the unmet need for mental health services in the Southeast geopolitical zone.
He said the clinics would protect families from the huge financial hardship traveling to Enugu.
He said it will ensure equitable distribution of drugs, infrastructure and mental health services at all levels of healthcare.
In response, Dr. Ejike Oji, Consultant for Mental Advocacy and Awareness Program, said the mental clinics would improve and harness private sector participation in mental health services.
“Awareness for mental health services has been assessed as a need.
“It will enhance advocacy efforts for government and key stakeholders to support the scheme.
“It will also pilot the use of new technology and training to optimize the performance of providers for better service delivery,” he said.
Prof. Pauline Otih, a professor in Medical Sociology pointed out that mental issues are as a result of social factors.
She expressed concern that mental health is not being highlighted in Nigerian health issues.
She also advised that stigmatization of people with mental issues be stopped.
According to Otih, good mental health is fundamental to ensuring good physical wellbeing for the people.
The planned project is the first of its kind in the entire country.