Firm sets up trauma care for mental health

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Prof. Akindotun Merino

Amid growing concern over suicide cases linked to traumatic experiences of Nigerians, JARS Education & Psychological Firm has launched a community trauma care centre.

Known as Aşak Wellness Centre, the facility, which is located in the Ifako area of Lagos State, will help people living with stress, emotional and psychological sicknesses before they develop psychosis.

Chief Executive Officer of JARS Education Group, Prof. Akindotun Merino, said that given the stress Lagosians go through daily, especially in traffic, abusive bosses at work, and violence in various families, the state needs urgent attention in handling the mental health of citizens. She also disclosed that the country loses N57 billion every year to mental health issues.

Merino said: “These are people who do not go to work because they are in a depressed state. It is not about crazy people; this is about all of us. Mental wellness is that we are psychologically safe, emotionally healthy, financially viable, socially collected, and it is that we are a community helping each other so that we can be better in Nigeria. No matter how smart one is, if they are not mentally well, they will not become the best of themselves.”

Speaking at the event, Lagos State First Lady, Mrs Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, stressed that mental health is important but awareness is abysmally low.

A consultant psychiatrist and psychologist, Dr Olayinka Jibunoh, who represented the First Lady, noted that the Lagos State government is committed to the wellbeing and welfare of residents and no effort will be spared towards playing up all aspects of health care, including mental health in the state.