Stakeholders say challenges bedevilling the nation such as insecurity, ‘japa syndrome’, drug abuse and corruption are taking a toll on the mental health of citizens of the country.
They said addressing the issues is not only vital for the progress of the country but also essential for the mental health and emotional resilience of the people.
They stated this Sunday in Abuja during a conference on national rehabilitation and reformation organised by Chosen Vessels Global Outreach in collaboration with the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN), National Orientation Agency (NOA) and other partners.
The theme of the conference was “Psychosocial and mental health intervention in focus”.
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Convener of the conference, Dr Chinyere Christine Nwoye, said “Corruption erodes our trust and confidence, contributing to a sense of hopelessness. Insecurity fosters fear and uncertainty, affecting the mental well-being of our citizens. Drug abuse and other social vices often stem from unaddressed emotional and psychosocial needs. The desire to migrate or ‘Japa’ often arises from disillusionment and despair, underscoring the need for emotional and psychosocial support.”
She said it was time to confront these challenges to chart a path towards a brighter, more prosperous future for Nigeria while nurturing the mental well-being of its citizens.
While saying family and the community have a role to play, she said there was a need to collectively embrace the call for national rehabilitation and reformation in Nigeria through unity and a shared commitment to mental well-being.
The guest lecturer, Martins Obono, in his lecture titled, “The National Pledge: A systemic response to the effects of re-traumatization,” said the effects of trauma include low self-esteem, romanticization and Japa mentality.
He said to reform Nigeria, people must tell each other the truth and also develop the capacity to receive negative feedback.
The Director General (DG) of the Bureau for Public Service Reform (BPSR), Arabi Dasuki, said national rehabilitation and reformation were very crucial because they represent a fundamental shift in how individuals who have endured hardships are viewed.
Other stakeholders like the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), the NOA, the Nigeria Police Force, and the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) called for the strengthening of family values, re-orientating Nigerians on attitudes, and self re-examination to achieve reformation.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of the 2023 Face of Hope award to the Registrar of PCN, Ibrahim Babashehu Ahmed, a veteran broadcaster, Mrs Moji Makanjuola; Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar and Director General of NOA, Dr Garba Abari, among others.