Enugu State Government Advocates Collaborative Efforts to Address Mental Health Challenges

Enugu State Government Advocates Collaborative Efforts to Address Mental Health Challenges

By Godwin Umeh

The Enugu State government has issued a call for enhanced collaboration with stakeholders to combat the rising prevalence of mental health disorders within the state. This appeal was made by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Emmanuel Obi, during the inauguration of an international conference on Mental Health held at Godfrey Okoye University’s Thinkers Corner campus in Enugu.

Dr. Obi emphasized the paramount importance the state places on the health and well-being of its citizens, pledging government support to bolster mental health services and initiatives. He urged Nigerians to foster stress-free home environments as a means of mitigating mental health challenges.

Addressing attendees, Reverend Father Professor Christian Anieke, the Vice-Chancellor of Godfrey Okoye University, expressed deep concern over the alarming prevalence of mental health cases in Nigeria. He advocated for the integration of psychology into mental health treatment protocols and highlighted the university’s commitment to hosting the proposed Mental Health Plaza, a collaborative effort with Nigerian Mental Practitioners based in the United States of America.

Professor Anieke also highlighted the university’s proactive approach to addressing drug abuse among students, citing mandatory drug tests at the beginning of each academic session. He underscored the link between substance abuse and criminal behavior, emphasizing the need for preventive measures.

In a message conveyed to the conference by Professor Bath Nnaji, the chairman of the event, urgent action was urged from agencies such as the NDLEA and the police to combat the scourge of drug abuse in Nigeria.

Dr. Nkechi Aneke of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation lamented the scarcity of psychiatrists in Nigeria, with only 350 currently serving the entire population. She pledged the ministry’s commitment to addressing this shortfall and improving mental health services nationwide.

Dr. Azubuike Aliche, President of the Nigerian Mental Health Practitioners based in the USA, highlighted misconceptions surrounding mental health in Nigeria, attributing them to factors such as superstition and inadequate education. He called for an increase in mental health professionals and facilities, as well as reforms to existing mental health legislation to better address the needs of the population.

The conference served as a platform for robust discussions and calls to action aimed at advancing mental health care and awareness in Nigeria.


Godfrey Okoye University Radio 106.9 FM launched in 2014 as a campus radio station and began operation on the 21st of October, 2015 through the effort of our formidable Vice Chancellor, Rev. Fr. Prof. Dr. Christian Anieke supported by the Senate of the University to serve as a broadcast medium to inform, educate, entertain and enlighten the host community and the general public.