The Medical Director of the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital in Yaba, Lagos, Dr. Oluwayemi Ogun, has expressed concern over the rising incident of mental health problem among Nigerian youths in Nigeria, saying one in five youths have mental health issues while one in four adults (12 percent) will experience a mental illness at some point in their lives.
Daily Trust reports that Dr. Ogun disclosed this on Wednesday during a symposium organised to mark the 2018 World Mental Health Day themed: “Young people and mental health in a changing world.”
She said young people between the ages of 14 and 35 have challenges with anxiety and depression, adding that youths with anxiety may not get to the hospital so they can become treated.
According to her, 75 percent of mental illness start before a child reaches their 18th birthday while 50 percent of mental health problems in adult life (excluding dementia) start before the age of 14.
She further said that 75 percent of young people with mental health problems are not receiving treatment and young people may wait for treatment until the symptoms reach ‘crisis’ level like self-harm, violence and aggression or dropping out of school.
“Many people with mental illness are isolated or are uncertain as regards where they can access treatment, thus relying on the informal support of family, friends or colleagues who may advise wrongly on the mode of treatment to be accessed.
“The stigma attached to mental illness causes more damage as it prevents those with the illness or their families from accessing treatment, whereas it is a known fact that the earlier the treatment is given, the better the outcome.
“There is a growing need to promote and protect young people’s health as well as the economy and society. Then, the healthy young adults will be able to make greater contributions to the workforce, their families and communities as a whole.
“The focus this year is that government’s investment and involvement in social health and education sectors should be integrated to give essential mental health services to the young people,” she said.