The Retreat Offers Free Treatment to Raise awareness on Mental Health


Martins Ifijeh

The Retreat, Nigeria’s first purpose built mental hospital recently deployed psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, occupational therapists, and mental health nurses, in a free mental treatment and awareness forum to mark the World Mental Health Day at the Ikorodu axis of Lagos.

The exercise involved screenings, blood pressure test, mental health assessment surrounding anxiety, depression, alcoholism and a mental health talk.

The Chief Executive Officer, Retreat, Dr Olufemi Oluwatayo, a General Psychiatrist, said the free treatment and the health awareness were meant to draw attention to mental health and to raise mental awareness in the workplace.

“The World Mental Health Day creates an ample opportunity to take mental health issues to the public, it is always a good day to draw attention to the prevailing conditions of mental health treatment. We feel that it is an avenue to raise awareness on mental health issues in the society, in Nigeria and look at mental health issue in the workplace especially with this year’s theme of mental health at the work place.

“The Retreat is Nigeria’s first purpose built mental hospital in Nigeria and by deploying high level mental health professionals we intend to give back to the society,” he added.

He said it was always challenging within the society to discuss health issues with the stigma attached to mental issues, adding that mental health patients can be productive within the workplace, “and by raising this awareness, we can help reduce the stigma by bringing out to the public that there are professionals who are ready and available to help those in need. Some employers do not see mental issues at the workplace as a priority hence many employees may be suffering in silence, that is why this year’s theme is very suitable. The mental health awareness is The Retreat contribution to a national discourse on mental health issues in Nigeria.”

The Mental Health Day is marked by the World Health Organisation with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental issues worldwide and mobilising efforts in support of mental health.