As the world marks the 2023 Mental Health day, a call has gone to state governments to domesticate the Nigerian National Mental Health Act 2021, in order to protect the rights of those with mental health conditions in the country.
Speaking shortly after a road walk to mark the day in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, South East Nigeria, a Consultant Psychiatrist with the Federal Medical Center, Umuahia, Chizoba Acho observed that there is a lot of discrimination against persons with mental challenges.
For her, having a mental health condition should never be a reason to deprive people of their human rights or to exclude them from decisions about their own health.
The 2021 Act provides for funding for mental health care, as well as outlines paths for integrating mental health services into primary healthcare delivery at the local government levels.
The law equally prohibits discrimination and stigmatization of individuals living with mental illnesses in the country.
(Editor : Ena Agbanoma)