Experts Proffer Multi-disciplinary Approach to Help Mental Disorder among Children

Oluchi Chibuzor

Experts at the fifth annual mental wellness conference organised by OISA Foundation have advocated the need for parents of children with learning disabilities to adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to improve learning outcomes.

This is as they equally advocated the need for more robust universal learning schools that accommodates children with learning disabilities in both private and public schools.

Speaking at the hybrid event in Lagos, the conference Chairperson, Dr. Olufemi Ogunsanya, urged parents to ensure they employ the services of qualified specialists, as a more robust approach is needed to provide quality care.

According to her, “As stated today, we need a multi-disciplinary approach to handle the mental well-being of our children. Because we need to have a team that comprises counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, pediatricians, speech therapists, occupational therapists among others, it’s teamwork as we have learnt today.”

However, the Founder of Oxbridge Tutorial stressed the need for the government to extend its intervention to private schools as the number of children with learning disabilities are growing, adding that the call for school mental health policy would do more good.

However, one critical outcome of the conference with the theme: ‘Mental Health and Well-being for All: Leaving No Adolescent Behind’, was the need for robust school mental health laws across the country to provide needed guidelines around the issue.

Commenting, she said such policy would help both the government and stakeholders “to know what they can do, and what will be the process, procedure in order to be able to help the children.”

Explaining how Lagos is championing the fight for all-inclusive learning in the country, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye, said the current state government understands that the concept of mental health is still something that a lot of people still struggle with.

He opined that: “We knew that for us to try to effect any change, we had to recreate interesting portfolios before we can even start any intervention.”

Ogboye maintained that their school health mental programme provided an opportunity for them beyond mental health to include visual health and nutrition.

Presenting her paper on inclusive learning, Public Health Consultant, Dr. Osazuwa Maltida Kerry, advised schools to help identify symptoms on time by ensuring they train their staff as schools remain the best place to detect any difficulty in learning.

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