Mrs Ajibola Falaye, a Professor of Counselling and Developmental Psychology at the University of Ibadan, on Wednesday raised an alarm over increasing incidents of mental problems and disorders among young Nigerians.
Falaye was delivering a keynote address at the opening of a five-day workshop on Adolescent Health by the Public Health Nursing Department of the University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan.
She said that contrary to expectations, many young people were not always in good health. “Although mental health is the ninth component of primary health care, the implementation is fraught with problems hence, nothing is being done about mental health problems of young people,” she noted.
Falaye explained that one reason for this include the dearth of mental health professionals, stressing that presently in the country, mental health services for young people were being run with adult mental health services.
According to her, young people who need admission are thus admitted into psychiatric wards alongside adult cases.
Another problem, according to Falaye, was that structures were generally over-centralised, over-specialised and were located in urban areas neglecting the rural populace.
She recommended that mental health of young people needed to be approached in a holistic manner with multi-sectoral collaboration from all parties and stakeholders.
“Protection of mental health of young people is an invaluable investment into our future and will promote in attaining a state of sustainable development,’’ she said.