Psychiatrist recommends early treatment of mental ailment

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A Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr.
Shehu Sale, has advised Nigerians to report persons with mental ailment early
at recognised health facilities.

Sale, who is also the Medical
Director of Federal Neuro Psychiatric Hospital (FNPH), Kware, Sokoto State,
gave the advice while speaking at the state capital on Saturday.

The psychiatrist said that early
report and diagnosis of mental ailments would help to curtail the number of
rising cases in the country.

He pointed out that mental cases
were on the increase in the country because they were hardly reported at the
right hospitals and at the right time as most people patronised traditional
healers first.

According to Sale, mental cases
can be easily controlled if such cases are taken to the right hospitals in good
time for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Sale, who is also an associate
professor and master trainer with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
(UNODC), decried the stigma associated with mental health, saying it
discourages people from seeking medical help.

Dr. Shehu Sale

He said that plans were underway
to establish a family health clinic to address stigma with an aim to reduce
stigma and other associated public perceptions in relation to mental health.

The consultant expressed
confidence that the clinic, when established, would help strengthen mental
health delivery.

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He added that in the meantime,
the hospital has sponsored enlightenment campaigns on mental health and stigma
in Kano, Katsina, Sokoto and other states as a project.

He traced the cause of mental
health to drug abuse, depression, hardship or hereditary, but maintained that
it could be cured if it was detected and treated early.

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