A mental health expert, Dr Jibril Abdulmalik has urged Nigerian to be courteous at workplace, saying this promotes good mental health and optimal productivity.
Dr Abdulmalik spoke at the 2017 World Mental Health Day Lecture and interactive session that was organised by the Mental Health Leadership and Advocacy Programme in conjunction with Oyo State Ministry of Health.
The consultant psychiatrist said an individual’s work environment can either make a person sad, afraid or happy, and as such, being courteous at workplace will promote positive mental health and reduce stress.
Dr Abdulmalik, who remarked that stressful situations in the workplace could make vulnerable peoples develop mental illnesses, added that it is the role of every worker to ensure a friendly, conducive and appropriate work environment.
The expert dispelled as untrue the notion that only vagrant persons have mental disorders, are caused by witchcraft, not treatable with drugs but contagious.
According to him, mental illnesses are just like other chronic illnesses like diabetes and hypertension, that individuals can recover fully from and live normal lives without any problem.
Dr Fola Lasebikan, a consultant psychiatrist, University of Ibadan, acknowledged that cases of emotional disorders at times occur at workplaces, adding that several steps taken by government in the state attested to the importance placed on mental health.
He said that the Department of Psychiatry of the UCH, Ibadan was also willing to partner with Oyo State to offer mental health services at the Moniya Rehabilitation centre where homeless mentally ill people are being rehabilitated.
Oyo State, Commissioner for health, Dr Azeez Adeduntan, speaking through Director, Public Health, Dr Wole Lawal, noted that work related stress can make it difficult to lead a healthy lifestyle and even encourage unhealthy habits.
Dr Adeduntan assured of government’s commitment to health care service delivery geared at achieving improved quality of health for its workforce and citizenry through interventions such as the state’s compulsory health insurance and recently launched N50billion healthcare endowment fund.
Earlier, Pastor Samuel Alo of the Family Support Group had said people with mental illnesses need not be stigmatised, but supported, urging for increased involvement of government to increase access to medicines and care for mental problems in the country.
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