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Young people and mental health in a changing world

By Nkem Egenuka on Tue, 09/10/2018 - 21:55

A healthy person should be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually balanced. Mental health refers to your emotional and psychological well-being; it is a healthy state of mind.

Mental health can be influenced by life events, habits, genetics, environment and others.


In Nigeria, an estimated 20%–30% of our population is believed to suffer from mental disorders.  This is a very significant number considering Nigeria has an estimated population of over 200 million. Unfortunately, the attention given to mental health disorders in Nigeria is poor.

Today is World Mental Health Day and the goal is to increase awareness about mental health and the importance of mental health in overall health of a person. The 2018 theme is “Young people and mental health in a changing world.”

According to World Health Organisation, “Adolescence and the early years of adulthood are a time of life, when many changes occur, for example, changing schools, leaving home, and starting university or a new job. These are exciting times for the adolescent and can also be times of stress and apprehension.

However, if not recognised and managed, these feelings can sometimes be overwhelming thereby leading to mental illness.


There are various kinds of Mental Illness. They include Bipolar disorder, chronic depression, Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and others.

Common signs of mental illnesses

  • having constant thoughts of hurting yourself and/or other people
  • feeling hopeless, helpless or lost
  • secluding yourself from other people and favorite activities
  • feelings of unexplainable irritability, anxiety, fright, anger and sadness
  • having extreme mood swings
  • hearing voices in your head and thoughts that would not leave your head

Mental health Treatments

Mental health treatments aim to reduce the symptoms, address the causes, and manage the condition. The medications that are used to treat mental health disorders are antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, antipsychotic medications, and mood-stabilizing medications.

Coping with Mental Illness

To cope with mental illness, Start by reaching out to your primary health care doctor if you have symptoms of mental illness. They can help with the initial diagnosis and provide a referral to a psychiatrist.

You should know that your condition can be properly managed and you can live a happy and fruitful life if you work with a mental health team.


Get Help

Suicide Research and Prevention Initiative (LUTH-SURPIN) –hotlines -09080217555, 09034400009, 08111909909, 07013811143

Federal Neuro Psychiatric Hospital (FNPH) Yaba –Hotlines- 234-8155170000, 234-9060001907, email- enquiries@fnphyaba.gov.ng








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