Lagos State Government has disclosed plans to extend mental health care services at primary health care level toward reducing suicide rates and increase access to mental health care in the state.
The Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in commemoration of the 2019 World Mental Health Day with the theme “Suicide Prevention”.
World Mental Health Day celebrated annually on Oct. 10 seeks to bring global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma.
It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organisation with members and contacts in more than 150 countries.
Abayomi said that the inclusion of Mental Health Care delivery at the Primary Health Care level would reduce the difficulties in assessing adequate health care and the alarming suicide rate in the society.
He noted that the promotion of mental health and well-being of residents were priorities within the state’s development agenda for health aimed at ensuring that every citizen had access to effective and sustainable health care delivery models.
The commissioner added that the state would collaborate with other sectors to create a strong network of facilities, operations and programmes that would address mental health needs.
“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,” he said.
Abayomi said that the state had started the groundwork for the development of sustainable mental health care programmes and services that would ensure improved health outcomes in the long-term.
Abayomi restated the continuous support of the government to the development and implementation of a mental health system that would improve the mental health of individuals and communities through evidence-based interventions and services