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Global Youth Mental Health Awareness (GYMHA) founder Prof. Jude Ediae said drug abuse is the major cause of mental illness among youths in Nigeria.
Prof. Jude made this known while speaking at GYMHA conference held on 16th November, last year in Abuja Nigeria.
According to him, three in seven young Nigerians experience a mental health condition.
One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide according to estimate.
In Nigeria, one in five young people experiences depression and mental health condition; and drugs abused is the leading cause of mental illness among Youths and Teenagers of Nigerians aged 16 to 24.
Three in seven young Nigerians experience a mental health condition. 22% of Nigerian Teenagers and Youths aged 17-35 years experienced a chronic mental depression between 2010-14, which is equivalent to an estimated 660,000 Nigerian Teenagers and Youths.
Three in Thirteen young Nigerians (7.9%) aged 17-25, experienced an anxiety disorder in 2013.
This is equivalent to approximately 298,000 young people. Which has a long and short-term effects on welfare in Nigeria.
Global Youth Mental Health Awareness (GYMHA) is a non-for-profit organization registered in Australia.
Its vision was developed in response to the growing need to communicate and engage with professionals and youths in the community, to tackle the issues related to mental health and the associated stigma for those individuals who may seek help.
GYMHA is directly supported by the Global Socio-Economic & Financial Evolution Network (GSFEN).
Some of the recommendations from last GYMHA Conference held in Abuja, Nigeria were as follows:
1. Youth mental health awareness, engagement and integration
2. Early intervention and prevention
3. Rapid, easy and affordable access to Youth specific care
4. Youth partnership and engagement
5. Family engagement and support. Such as kindness, love, etc
6. Promote multi-stakeholder collaboration to advance state, federal, and global efforts in favour of good youth mental health.
7. Improve access to mental healthcare and encourage the development of novel drugs and therapies for the treatment of youth mental health conditions.