By Ankeli Emmanuel (In Sokoto State)

Consultant Psychiatrist with the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Kware in Sokoto State, Dr. Adebayo Adebisi, has said aside substance abuse, poverty, insecurity, joblessness, as well as other factors, could lead to chronic depression that is capable of triggering mental health disorder if not managed.

The Psychiatrist who decried that cases of mental health disorder is currently on the increase added that its socio-economic and environmental consequences are very worrisome.

Speaking exclusively to select journalists on the imperative of the 2021 World Mental Health Day, Dr. Adebayo Adebisi revealed that mental disorders often lead to stigmatization by both relatives and society at large.

"Poverty, drug addiction, joblessness, insecurity, and violence occasioned by numerous others have been identified as factors responsible for mental health illness. In the light of this, it is also observed that mental health ailment treatment has significantly been exposed to the barrier of inadequate attention and facilities to curtail the rising level of cases".

Dr. Adebayo who appreciated concerned agencies for the unrelenting anti-drug and substance abuse sensitization, however, noted that the incidences is still high.

Talking about how the scene looks like in Sokoto state, Dr. Adebayo said they have no fewer than 112 mental health patients on admission, out of which 27 are females at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Kware, Sokoto State.

"On average, we get up to 30 to 35 new cases every day. And about 100 patients or more also report to the hospital for follow-up almost on daily basis. Mental disorders are treatable and can be managed effectively by Psychiatrists. People with mental disorders can function optimally in society if they are given necessary treatments, support, and opportunities they needed", he stated.

Debunking the assumption that mental health disorders can be contagious, Dr. Adebayo who is also the Head of, Clinical Services of the hospital, added however that reducing the incidences of mental disorders in our society is a collective effort between individuals, communities, and government.

"Mental health disorder is not contagious. However, we should try as much as possible to manage stress effectively, avoid things that will create stress levels that we cannot manage, and don't take too much on ourselves. Too much stress has the capability of making the brain react negatively as well".

Mental illness is a disorder in the realms of the brain and mind while some of them have to do with genetic factors in the sense that some of them are transmitted through the genetic makeup of their parents to individuals.

"The truth is that, even if somebody carries the genes or the risks for a mental disorder as you may call it, it does not mean he will automatically manifest or come down with the disorder.

"Other factors have to come in like social and environmental factors such as lack of jobs, divorce, illicit drug abuse, poverty, stresses of life among others. But basically, those with inherited genes for the mental disorder are the ones more likely to manifest the disorder.

Stating how the new Managing Director, Prof Shehu Sale has made positive impacts in the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Kware, Dr. Adebayo said he has introduced several human and infrastructural development programs and policies in the hospital.

Listing some of these modest achievements of Prof Shehu Sale as the MD, Adebayo said there is an ongoing construction of Regional Women and Children Drug Treatment Center which according to him is unique in addition to ensuring a stable water supply and a 24 hours power supply through a diesel generator.

"The CMD operates an open door policy. He provides a responsive platform that encourages young Doctors from catchment communities to specialize in Psychiatry with the belief that in the next few years, they will be proud of having indigenes as Consultant Psychiatrists and this will be the first time to have a homegrown specialist in the hospital.

Talking about some of the challenges of the hospital, Dr. Adabayo said abandoned patients, overstayed patients, water issues, complete dependence on diesel, zero IGR stigmatization of their staff, were some of their obvious challenges. NNL.

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