Stakeholders should strive to help drive national policy – NGO

A Non-governmental Organisation, The Mandate Health Empowerment Initiative has reiterated the need for stakeholders to join government in driving national policy on mental health in the country.

Founder of the Abuja-based organisation Ameh Zion Abba made the call on Thursday at a two-day European Union (EU) funded sensitization training organised for media in both the print and electronics.

According to Abba, quite a lot of reports have been made on suicide, mental disorders and whole lots around mental health which has affected quite a lot of the productive population of this country.

Abba identified the media, traditional leaders, religious leaders, teachers and the road transport workers, saying that their contributions would help change the narrative and there would be significant improvement in the mental health of the people and their productivity.

He said, “It is a well known fact that a lot of reports have been made around the place of mental health, drug use, abuse, dependency, suicide and care in the country which has affected quite a number of our populace.

“Consequently, the European Union (EU) and the UNODC thought it wise to increase the awareness, the knowledge level among the general populace to carry out sensitization and drug use, dependency, drug prevention, treatment and care.”

Speaking further, Abba said, “We are very optimistic that taking this sensitization around the corridors of five major stakeholders corridors and activities would go beyond just creating awareness or increasing the knowledge, it would help some of our leaders to make informed decision as it concern policy on mental health, development and service delivery.

One of the participants, Aderogba George from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) further stressed the need to join the organization as leading campaigner around drug abuse, mental health and care in the country.

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