Hunger Crisis/ NRCS
Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS)

Red Cross Warns Of Increasing Mental Health Issues In Nigeria


On Wednesday, Professor Peter Katchy, the Anambra State chairman of Nigeria Red Cross Society, cautioned that the dependency and usage of illicit drugs amongst young people are harming the socioeconomic life of the society and threatening the future of the country.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), approximately 50 million Nigerians suffer from one sort of mental illness or another while a survey that was run by the Federal Government revealed that over 14.3 million Nigerians abused illicit drugs, representing around 15 percent of the country’s population who are between the ages of 15 and 64 years.

Prof. Katchy explained that the use of illicit drugs by children and young people has lasting adverse effects on their mental and physical development as according to him, drug abuse can impact the brain’s ability to function in the short term as well as prevent proper growth development later in life which he noted create various problems for families, communities and entire society including encouraging indecent dressing, display of psychiatric tendencies and often a disruption of academic and social activities.

He also lamented that in addition to illicit drugs, malnutrition which is usually caused by economic hardships is also creating mental health issues that can result in anxiety and depression which has continued to disable people especially youths, thereby undermining healthy lifestyles and encouraging social vices.

Professor Katchy urges families to strive to form strong ethical moral values in children when they are young while also asking security agencies and schools to bear down on those who abuse gender dressing as well as those who peddle illicit drugs and other intoxicants among minors and youths.