Ayodeji Ake

Accidents, high fever in children, illnesses during pregnancy, falls from hill tops are some of the factors responsible for mental disorders in Nigeria, a Psychiatric Consultant, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, Dr. Oluwafunmilayo Akinola, has said.

Stating this at the Women Annual Seminar 2017, organised by Chosen Vessels Empowerment Foundation (CVEF) in Lagos, themed ‘Mental Health, Surviving or Thriving’, Akinola said such disorders could be minor, severe or familiar.
“While mental illness occurs in both males and females, that of women is often derived from environmental or hereditary factors,” adding that depression was more common in females.

“Mental health means being sound emotionally, able to plan, have good relationship with others, and function well in all spheres of life. Any deviation from all the aforementioned would mean there is a mental problem,” she stated.

The consultant, who said several other factors cause mental illness, noted that even children are not exempted from the disorder, especially when they are down with high fever.

“Children whose mothers were also ill during pregnancy, or a child that fall off from high tops and accident can wake up with mental illness.”

Emphasising on preventive measures, she said women should access antenatal care during pregnancy, avoid too much stress, among others.
Akinola added that If it’s hereditary, going to the hospital for early detection and treatments will help. Sleeping and eating at expected times are also important.

The President, CVEF, Mrs. Adebole Atoyebi said the theme for this year women seminar was to address the issue of mental health in both men and women to reduce suicide cases as a result of depression.

“Earlier this year, Lagos woke up to cases of suicide and suicide attempts. Same was experienced around the nation. And these were results of depression among the people.

”It’s like there is a rage, people are angry. We are seeing more younger women who are depressed because they have been abused, whether physically, mentally or sexually. Some of these things are why we have decided to focus on this things and how people understand it is beyond looking good from outside but also from the inside,” she said.

Atoyebi urged the government to compel private organisations and government institutions to educate their staff on mental health to grow the economy.