Women health

 Mental health Bill Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari has officially signed into law the Mental Health Bill, which was harmonized by both Houses of Assembly in 2021, decades after it stagnated in the legislative chambers after unsuccessful attempts at reform in 2003 and 2013.

The signing of the first mental health act/law after independence, which appears to be the president of Nigeria's farewell present to the people of Nigeria, also marks the repeal of the 1958 Lunacy Act.

As may be recalled, the Senate passed the mental health legislation for second reading in 2020 and held public hearings as a result.

According to a memo from the National Assembly Clerk, the National Mental Health Bill, 2021 was approved by the National Assembly on November 28th, 2022, and was given to President Buhari last week for review and approval.

This same Association of Psychiatrists of Nigeria, APN, President, Prof. Taiwo Obindo, confirmed the signing of the HEALTH LIFE KIT and called it a huge relief. This is good news for mental health care in this country.

The Association of Psychiatrists of Nigeria's work over the past two decades has finally paid off, he said. "We now have an Act/Law on Mental Health Governance and we are part of the global arena with best global practice," he said.

Prof. Taiwo Shielk, the immediate past president of the APN, also gave a speech in which he thanked God Almighty for allowing the President and Commander in Chief of the FRN to sign the Mental Health Bill into law. APN deserves praise for their perseverance and support of the voiceless.

We really appreciate the support of Senator Dr. Ibrahim Oloriegbe, Senator Ahmad Abubakar, Dr. Ibrahim Gambari (COS), CBM International, Johnson & Johnson, and all of our collaborators. By His Grace, we eventually succeeded after multiple attempts.

We ask the Lord to bless everyone who helped make this endeavor successful.

Psychiatrists claim that the bill will assist replace the 1958 Lunacy Act, which experts decry as being out of date and harsh.

The National Mental Health Bill includes provisions for the establishment of a Mental Health Fund and a Department of Mental Health Services within the Federal Ministry of Health.

By outlawing discrimination in housing, employment, healthcare, and other social services, it will assist in establishing protections for human rights for those with mental health disorders.

Enhancing care by ensuring that persons receiving treatments have the freedom to decide how their treatment will be handled, doing away with forced therapy, seclusion, and other forms of restraint in facilities, and enhancing community-based care.

This same law will also address how and in what way populations with mental illnesses are to be cared for, without stigma or unequal treatment, and it will establish international best practices for enshrining the human right of those with mental illnesses, for facilitating access to care, and for prohibiting chaining or other forms of coercion.

The bill would facilitate access to care for those with mental illnesses and ensure that their human rights are upheld, among other things.

Additionally, it will help to remove stigma and discrimination and regulate the operations of mental health professionals.

Additionally, it will aid in resolving Nigeria's lack of funding for mental health services.




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