State Coordinator of Comprehensive Community Mental Health Programme, Mr. Ogbole Emmanuel O. has disclosed that one out every five persons in Benue are at a risk of having mental illness.
Ogbole who made this known in an interview with newsmen yesterday in Makurdi noted that statistics from health centres offering mental health services have shown that more than twenty five thousand people in the state are already living with mental illnesses.
He said the situation has called for urgent attention and collaboration of major stakeholders to ensure prevention and better handling to improve the quality of life of people living with mental illness through access to better mental health services.
“Statistics of people living with psychological problems are growing in number and research have shown that these people too can still be useful to the society if they are not neglected and shown care just like any other human being.”
“That is why community mental health programme mobilise groups to make an impact on attitudes in communities that are often a source of discrimination,” he noted.
According to him, scale-up of mental health services is currently a major priority of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the programme work closely with the organisation, federal ministry of health and other partnering bodies who are already supporting the programme.
He said as part of its activities, some categories of health workers are supported by the Programme with regular training, provision of drugs and mobility in partnership with government noting that nurses are also sent for training and posted to the local government areas.
Ogbole also said the programme also encourages people living with mental illnesses and their families to form groups that meet regularly to support one another, and provide counselling and sometimes empower them economically.
– John Shiaondo, Makurdi