Nigeria: Lagos to Extend Mental Health Services Across PHCs

17 October 2019

The Lagos State government said it will extend mental healthcare services to primary healthcare facilities (PHCs), as part of efforts to increase care on mental health issues.

The Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, Prof Akin Abayomi, disclosed this during a recorded broadcast to commemorate this year's World Mental Health Day recently.

He said the state government recognises the need to strengthen mental healthcare delivery and eradicate the difficulties in accessing mental health services which occur as a result of reluctance in seeking medical attention and lack of knowledge of where to access adequate care.

He said: "And this is why we are incorporating mental healthcare to PHC levels across the state. The promotion of mental health and well-being of Lagosians are priorities within our development agenda for health, which is to ensure that every citizen has access to effective and sustainable healthcare delivery models."

Abayomi said that the inclusion of Mental Health Care delivery at the Primary Health level will reduce the difficulties in assessing adequate health care and will go a long way in reducing the alarming suicide rate in the society.

He added that the state was working and collaborating with other sectors to create a strong network of facilities that will address mental health needs

"We recognise the difficulties in accessing mental health services which can occur because we are afraid to come forward and seek help, or are unaware of where to get it or the existing institutions and resources that provide these services are few and far between.

"As a government, we are working to ensure availability of mental health services at the primary healthcare level. We are also working to partner and collaborate with other sectors, to create a strong network of operations, facilities and programmes that will address mental health needs," he said.

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