Written by Scholastica JOSEPH

Seek medical help for mental health sufferers, not chains, experts caution

As people all over the World mark the 2019 World Mental Health Day, WMHD, psychiatry experts have advocated for proper awareness creation concerning mental illness calling on families with mentally ill patients to stop chaining them to a stake.

The experts, who stated that mental illness is curable, encouraged sufferers and their families not to hide their condition or keep to themselves but seek medical help to enable them lead a healthy life.

Addressing nursing mothers who came for routine immunization at the Epidemological Unit of Ministry of Health, Benue State, a clinical officer with Community Comprehensive Health Programme of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Benue state, Dr Terver Chieshe, noted that many people are suffering from mental illness without knowing it.

He emphasized that continuous sensitization and awareness campaign by stakeholders in the health sector will go a long way in addressing issues of mental health.

Chieshe however lamented that most families rather lock away their relatives, declare them mad and chain them for years without bringing them to the hospital.

"It is an insult to call somebody mad. If you know any place they have chained a mentally ill person, tell them to release them and take them to the hospital," he told the women.

Chieshe who stated that over 1.25million people in Benue have mental illnesses said the ailment is caused by various predisposing factors including genetic, physical and social factors naming poverty.

"Over 1.25 people in Benue do have mental illnesses and it is so great because people are poor. There is a relationship between poverty and mental illness. When you are poor, you tend to develop mental illness easily, when you are poor, you are less likely to get a good education that will make you get a good job and lead a good live.

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