Mental illness prevalent among children in Nigeria — Expert | Dailytrust

Mental illness prevalent among children in Nigeria — Expert

Tackling myths around mental health
Tackling myths around mental health

A clinical psychologist, Henry Ojenya, has said 10–20 per cent of children in Nigeria have a mental health condition.

He said the disorder, which is developmental, is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) which leads to anxiety and depression with significant lifelong impact on the children, who later become youths and their families. 

The psychologist who spoke with newsmen in Jos, the Plateau State capital, in the aftermath of the Children’s Day celebration, said owing to the importance of mental health disorders which is unknown to many, they have been creating awareness among the populace.

He said recently, a roundtable discussion was organized by CHARIS Healthcare and Community Support Initiative, funded by a German Foundation, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, and the focus of the discussion was the need to address the farmers-herders crisis in North Central Nigeria as it is capable of instigating post-traumatic stress disorder among farming communities. 

Ojenya highlighted that the psychological effect of the crisis may manifest as emotional exhaustion, stress, anxiety, psychological distress trauma, phobia, nightmares, irritability, hopelessness and depression. 

He pointed out that mental health cases are also prevalent among women in the region, and that was x-rayed by a consultant psychiatrist, Dr Aishatu Yusha’u Armiya’u, who emphasized the need to address the mental disorder among women and youths in the region. 

Armiya’u, outlined the physical, economic, social and psychological far-reaching repercussions of the crisis on the region’s stability and women who face all manner of abuses in the process.

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