By Mosunmola Ayobami, Kwara
The founder, Leave Impact For Eternity Foundation (LIFE) Mr. Sulyman Lawal has urged the Kwara state Ministry of Health to create a suicide registry in the Ministry where people who are depressed or suffering from Emotional issues could be addressed.
He said the NGO has developed an emergency hotline that people can call to report suicide issues.
Lawal made this appeal while speaking with newsmen at the programme organized to mark World Mental Health Day, held on Thursday in Ilorin, with a theme,” Working Together To Prevent Suicide”
“We are commemorating the World Mental Health Day which comes up on 10th of October and the Theme For this year is Suicide Prevention which is common among the youths.
“We have made recommendations to various Ministries and parastatal including the Ministry of Health in Kwara state. We recommended that the Ministry should have a suicide registry.
“We have developed an emergency hotline which people can call to report Suicide cases. We are working on partnering with the Ministry of Education. We want to take sensitization to school and list of schools has been given to us.
“In all these, the programme brings together different people from different sectors to rob minds on Suicide prevention and how to improve Mental Health in society”
According to him, Nigeria is still using the Launacy act of 1958 which can be traced back to the colonial era which does not meet the requirements of the international community, the launacy act needs to criminalize Suicide, though the Bill has been presented in the National Assembly but unfortunately it has not been passed.
He urged the concerned government arm to pass and implement the Mental Health Bill for a better society.
“There’s need for more facilities, there’s need for government to employ more consultants. In Kwara state, we have only two Psychiatrist Consultants.
“In the whole of Nigeria, we have about 200 Psychiatrist doctors and we have about N200million people in Nigeria. If we divide this, that means we have one Psychiatrist doctor for N1million people,” he explained.
He similarly urged the government to review the remuneration for doctors as most of them are leaving the country for greener pastures.
Earlier in her lecture, Doctor Oluwabunmi Buhari said about N1 million people commit Suicide every year while N450 million individuals have mental illness in the world.
She added that every 40 seconds somebody is committing Suicide.
Buhari identified social, psychological and physical problems as factors responsible for mental health issues.
She highlighted exercise, health education, problem-solving, good communication skills, Immunization, maternal and Child health care, employment and supporting vulnerable groups as mental health prevention tips.