Mental Health, Mental Disorder foundation APN
Mental Health

Experts: Mental Health Services Impacted by Brain Drain

Many health experts in the country are lamenting the declining mental health services that are provided to military and paramilitary agencies in the country, stating that the migration of Nigerian doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers to other countries to seek greener pastures was affecting the mental health services available to security agencies.

Speaking at a consultative roundtable on mental healthcare for the armed forces, security services, and law enforcement agents in Abuja, the Medical Director of Synapse Services, Dr. Vincent Udenze, said Nigeria lacked the resources, doctors, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, to look after the mental health needs of security personnel.

Udenze, who is also a consultant psychiatrist said, “This is the first time representatives of the military and paramilitary organisations are coming together, not only to seek a solution but to find a homemade solution.

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“We need a home-made solution tool to provide mental health services for them and their family members. We are concerned that health workers are exiting the country, our security personnel face security threats and they come back with post-traumatic stress disorder but the country is unable to address their needs.

“So, we need to work together and create a pool to support them. We are thinking of forming a special service known as Crest to provide mental health services to our security men and women.”

Also speaking, the Director-General, Office for Strategic Preparedness and Resilience, Chris Ngwodo, said there was a need to collaboratively design solutions to the challenges of mental health confronting security personnel.

“We have recognised that over the years as insecurity mounts, great burdens have been placed on our men and women in uniform to deal with threats in the country. While we have always discussed mental health in a generic term, we have come together to speak about the mental health challenges confronting our men and women in uniform.”