The senate on Tuesday urged the ministry of health at federal and state levels to set up free and accessible mental health stations where citizens who were prone to such could be attended to.
The upper legislative chamber also urged the ministry of health at federal and state levels to embark on a mental health campaign over the rise of suicide attempts cases in the country.
The resolutions of the senate were sequel to a motion sponsored by Remi Tinubu, senator representing Lagos central.
While moving the motion, Tinubu noted that according to the world happiness report, Nigeria had dropped from 4th happiest nation in 2015 to 78th in 2017.
“The dominant presence of these suicide catalysts, Nigeria’s mental health support is barely existent,” she said.
“These suicides are made worse by lack of attention and the belief that depression and other personality and mental disorders are white man’s sickness and thus does not affect Nigerian is saddening.
“Access to mental health specialists is expensive and almost nearly out of reach of the poor and middle class citizens which results to attack on people around them or attempt to take their lives.”
The legislator described as sad the death of one Ariyo – who posted on Facebook that he had few hours left to live but commenters mocked him and encouraged him to take his life.
Contributing to the debate, Shehu Sani, senator representing Kaduna north, said there is a need to equip hospitals to accommodate the issue.
“There is a connect between the disjointed social system of our people. It is of note that nowadays people attempt to take their lives. This motion addresses the need for emotional intervention,” he said.
“There is an ambiance of revolution in the air with a resolution to take the laws into their hands. We need to equip a lot of hospitals to accommodate this issue. It is a fact that reflects the reality of Nigeria today.”
The motion was adopted by the senate after it was put to a voice vote by Ike Ekweremadu, deputy senate president.
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