Dr Eno Kufre, a Psychiatrist with a Private Psychiatrist Centre in Gwagalada on Wednesday said compounded stress and apprehension if not recognised and managed could lead to mental illness.
Kufre gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja to commemorate the World Mental Health Day.
The theme of the Day is, “the Youth and Mental Health in a changing World.”
According to WHO, half all the mental illnesses begins by age 14 and often goes undetected and untreated.
She said depression is the third leading cause of disease while suicide is the second leading cause among youths of 15 to 29 years.
“Harmful use of alcohol and illicit drugs among adolescents is a major issue in many countries and can lead to risky behaviour such as unsafe sex or dangerous driving.
“Youths needs to be taught healthy coping mechanisms and awareness of ways to look after their mental health,” Kufre said.
She said increased use of online technologies among youths had led to additional pressures.
Kufre, however appealed to government, health and educational sector to invest in comprehensive and integrated evidence based programmes for mental health of young people.
“Globally, there is a growing recognition of the importance of helping young build mental resilience from an ear age, parents and teachers can help build life skills of children and adolescents cope with every day challenges.
” Psycho social support can be provided in schools and other community settings and course training for care providers to allow them detect a manage mental disorders because, prevention begins with being aware of and understanding the early warning signs and symptoms of mental illness,” Kufre said.
NAN reports that World Mental Health Day is observed on Oct. 10 every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilising efforts in support of mental health.
The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.
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