The Lagos State Government on Tuesday said it would soon complete a 500-bed psychiatric hospital and rehabilitation centre in Ketu Ejirin Local Council Development Area of the state.
The state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, made the disclosure at a Lagos Mental Health conference, held in Victoria Island.
The theme of the conference was “Responding To Mental Health Needs of A 21st Century Megacity”.
Abayomi said the second phase of the project would be a 1000 – bed psychiatric hospital and rehabilitation centre to further address the mental health issues in the state.
He said on completion of the projects, the state would have more facilities to treat those with mental health issues.
According to Abayomi, research has shown that cases of mental health have increased since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The commissioner added that the pandemic brought lots of stress and pressure on the people due to harsh economic conditions.
Abayomi listed the common mental health cases to include depression, anxiety, alcohol disorder and substance abuse.
The commissioner also disclosed that the state government had decided to introduce an Integrated Mental Health Delivery System.
He said the system would ensure collaboration between the public and the government in ensuring that mentally challenged individuals were cared for.
In his remarks, the former President of the Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria, Dr Taiwo Sheikh, said that mental health had become a serious issue in the country.
Sheikh said that more attention should be given to the mental health of the people so as to reduce social crises.
He commended the state government for the giant stride made in providing a state of the art mental health facilities for the people.
Sheikh also urged the government to make the psychiatric hospital and rehabilitation centre, a research and training hub for mental health experts across the nation.
He called for a change in the name, psychiatric facilities, to “Institute for Mental Health” to avoid stigmatisation.
“The institute will also be responsible for research of mental health and a hub for training of mental health professionals, providing support for mental health care,” he said. (NAN)