The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said the state government had decided to extend the mental health care services to the primary health care so as to increase the access to the service in the state.
Abayomi disclosed this during a recorded broadcast to commemorate the 2019 World Mental Health Day.
He noted that the state government recognised the need to strengthen mental health care delivery and eradicate the difficulties in accessing it services which according to him, occurred as a result of reluctance in seeking medical attention and lack of knowledge of where to access adequate care.
According to the commissioner, the inclusion of mental health care delivery at the primary health level would reduce the difficulties in assessing adequate health care and would also reduce the alarming suicide rate in the state.
He said, “We recognise the difficulties in accessing mental health services which can occur because we are afraid to come forward and seek help, or we are unaware of where to get it or the existing institutions and resources that provide these services are few and far between. This is why we are incorporating mental health care to the primary health care level across the state.
“We have set the groundwork for the development of sustainable mental health care programmes and services that will ensure improved health outcomes in the long-term. This will enable the state to become one of the forerunners in the delivery of sustainable, efficient and effective mental health services to its citizens in Lagos, Nigeria, and Africa as a whole.”
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