Ekiti Chief Judge John Adeyeye has urged female lawyers to use existing laws to help reduce the stigmatisation of people with mental illness.
Mr Adeyeye made the call in Ado Ekiti at the commemoration of World Mental Health Day, organised by the International Federation of Women lawyers in collaboration with Hope Initiative for mental wellness and anti-drug society.
“I call on female Lawyers in the state to use the instrumentality of existing laws against people perpetrating anti-social behaviours against those suffering from mental illness in the society,” said the chief judge. “I also call on Nigerians to pay passionate attention to their mental health and well-being so as to enjoy every stage of their moment in life.”
Adedotun Ajiboye, a clinical psychologist with the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, said Nigerians battling mental illness should not be stigmatised.
Mr Ajiboye specifically recommended regular exercise and eating a balanced diet to reduce the tendencies of being depressed.
“Doing things in excess is dangerous, which on many occasions leads to mental illness. Don’t allow yourself or anybody to go into depression. Share your problems with those you can trust; come to (the) hospital for regular checks,” the doctor added. “Whatever is happening to you does not matter, but the way you handle them matters.”
The lawyers’ federation president Oyinade Olatunbosun noted that many Nigerians die by suicide due to poorly managed frustration.
“Sometimes what we need is the right environment and not drugs to enhance wellness so that we can live the life we want,” said Ms Olatunbosun.
Ekiti president of customary courts, Justice Kola Orejimi, called on the government to treat mental health illness as an essential part of primary health care.