Tuesday, April 16, 2024

All Nigerians should go for mental checkups twice in one year: Neuropsychiatrist

“If there is already a history of mental health concerns or a family history of mental illness, more frequent evaluations would be beneficial,” said the psychiatrist.

• March 28, 2024
Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Yaba and HEALTH MINISTER
Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Yaba and HEALTH MINISTER

Amidst the economic hardship, a consultant neuropsychiatrist, Maymunah Kadiri, has underscored the need for Nigerians to prioritise the habit of mental health assessment at least twice a year to ensure their mental well-being.

Ms Kadiri, the medical director of Pinnacle Medical Services in Lagos, made the assertion in an interview on Thursday.

She decried the poor attitude of the public toward their mental health, noting that the majority of Nigerians perceived mental health evaluation as only meant for mentally challenged persons.

The neuropsychiatrist said Nigerians, irrespective of their status, background, tribe, and religion, were expected to access such services at least twice a year.

Ms Kadiri said, “Every human, irrespective of class, faces one societal ill or the other, stress and other current economic challenges that can affect the way they reason or interact.

“Such challenges are predisposing factors to depression and anxiety and can lead to suicide if not properly checked. People should consider going for mental health evaluations regularly, just like they do for physical checkups.”

The neuropsychiatrist added, “For a start, individuals can aim for at least twice a year, but in cases where one is experiencing significant stress, life changes, or symptoms of mental health issues, it is important to seek evaluation sooner.

“Additionally, if there is already a history of mental health concerns or a family history of mental illness, more frequent evaluations would be beneficial.”

The neuropsychiatrist emphasised the need for individuals to be mindful of their mental health, listen to their bodies and minds, and seek help whenever they feel overwhelmed or notice changes in their mental well-being.

Ms Kadiri, who explained that our mental health could be affected by happenings around us, urged Nigerians to prioritise the habit of mental health assessment as much as their physical health, as our mental health goes a long way in determining how we handle daily life events.

According to her, just as we regularly undergo physical examinations to monitor our blood pressure, blood sugar, and other physical health metrics, we should also be attentive to our mental health.


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