President, Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria (APN), Prof. Taiwo Obindo has revealed that more than 60 million Nigerians are suffering from mental illnesses.
Obindo made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday.
â€œMental healthcare is in a sorry state given that we have more than 60 million Nigerians suffering from various mental illnesses and the fact that only about 10 per cent of them are able to access appropriate care.
â€œWe are left with more than 90 per cent who are unable to access care and this group is called the treatment gap for mental illnesses,â€™â€™
Obindo said the gap is because people do not have appropriate information about the causes and treatment for mental illnesses.
He explained that myths and traditional beliefs; inadequate mental health facilities and the number of mental health professionals are some factors hindering the management of mental illness in Nigeria.
He also said about 60 per cent of Nigerians living in rural areas, do not have access to appropriate care and have to travel long distances to access facilities.
Obindo added that the number of mental health practitioners in Nigeria is low as it falls below the ratio recommended by the World Health Organization.
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