Dr. Auwal Sani Salihu, a consultant psychiatrist at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, AKTH, has urged people in Katsina to give adequate attention to their mental health to enhance productivity.
Dr. Salisu made the call in an interview with newsmen on Public Mental Health Awareness Campaign in Katsina.
The Northwest Wide Public Mental Health Awareness Campaign programme was sponsored by Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Kware, in Sokoto state
According to him, people in the country are facing a deluge of problems emanating from genetic factors, environmental factors as well as economic and societal factors.
Mr. Salisu described mental health as the state of well-being where an individual realizes his or her abilities and can cope with normal stress of life, be productive and make contributions to the community.
He, however, explained that such a state of well-being could be disrupted in one-third of individuals during their lifetime.
“Mental problems denote emotional and psychological difficulties, which cause distress and interfere with how people go about their everyday life,” he said.
According to the expert, mental ill-health is characterized with sadness, loss of appetite, confused thinking, prolonged depression as well as feelings of extreme highs and lows.
Others, he said, are excessive fears, worries, anxieties, social withdrawal, and dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits as well as feelings of anger.
Mr. Salihu lamented that stigma, which involves stereotyping and discriminating those with mental illnesses hinders them from seeking help, treatment and rehabilitation.
Also speaking at the occasion, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed Gadama, a consultant public health physician, said that everybody was a candidate for mental ill-health due to various stresses we face in life.
He added that the financial incapability, as well as societal problems faced by people in the society, make the theme apt and an essential topic for discourse.
The physician believes that mental ill-health could be overcome through collective efforts and commitments from stakeholders in the society.