Nigerians have been urged to pay attention to their health, particularly knowing their mental state, to be able to prevent mental illness which no one will want to suffer from due to so many factors.

The President of the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), Nigeria chapter, Mrs Mercy Omoifo – Irefo, made the call at the celebration of this year’s World Mental Health Day.

Mrs Omoifo – Irefo said though experts had said the causes of mental illness were yet unknown, there were  some factors that could contribute to poor mental health condition.

These include severe or long-term stress, long-term physical health condition, unemployment or job loss, homelessness or poor housing, drug and alcohol abuse, discrimination and stigma, social isolation or loneliness, child abuse, trauma, or neglect, social disadvantage, poverty or debt, bereavement, domestic violence, bullying among others.

According to her, neurological conditions such as epilepsy and head injury could also influence the mood and behavior of an individual, adding that it was important to rule out potential physical causes before seeking further treatment for a mental problem.

ASSP President said people should pay attention to their lifestyle and improve on their fitness, exercise, diet and always be happy with themselves in order to forget the problems and challenges of life.

Mrs Omoifo – Irefo stated that deteriorating.mental health condition  could be managed and brought under control through counseling, change of lifestyle, observing enough rest, exercise, medical care, constant monitoring and paying attention to one’s feelings.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one out of every five may have mental health issues. According to Demi Lorato “you don’t have to stay and struggle in silence when you begin to feel dark, empty headed and absent; speak up and seek help immediately. You can handle your health condition as long as you tell someone about it”. You need unfettered conversation”, she said.

ASSP President said mental health challenge was not a death sentence, advising that people should seek medical attention always and stick to their medication, exercise and routine being prescribed by experts.

She reminded friends and relatives of mentally sick persons that they needed to help them fight and stay strong each passing day, adding that they should be their strength, support them medically, emotionally, financially and morally; be their sight and mind in their weakest moments.

Mrs Omoifo – Irefo said ASSP had been giving support to persons with mental issues, speaking against their abuse, discrimination, mockery and helping them to deal with their situation for positive and improved mental health condition.

She appealed to the Federal Government to prioritize mental health care reform, provide more medical facilities and take full responsibility for medical care and drugs, rehabilitation centers and programs, sponsor counseling, pay medical practitioners and care givers of metal health patients.                                                         

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