The Committee on Health in the Oyo State House of Assembly has engaged relevant stakeholders in the health sector to accommodate more inputs on Oyo State Mental Health Bill, 2022.
The Public Hearing, which was held on Friday at the House of Chiefs, Secretariat, has various government and professional bodies submitting their memoranda including the Ministries of Health and Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Nigeria Institute of Psychiatric Nurses, Nigeria Pharmaceutical Association and Primary Healthcare Board.
Others who also submitted their inputs are Psychiatric Department, University College Hospital (UCH), Department of Psychology, University of Ibadan, Hospital Management Board, Nigeria Police and NDLEA, Department of Psychiatric, Ladoke Akintola Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, as well as Red Cross.
The bill is sponsored by the Speaker, Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin, Deputy Speaker, Hon. Muhammed Fadeyi, Majority Leader, Hon. Sanjo Adedoyin, Minority Leader, Hon. Niran Alarape and the Chairman, Committee on Health, Hon. Rilwan Saminu.
Speaking on the importance of the bill, Hon. Rilwan Saminu, expressed that the bill when passed into law will help in stemming the spread of mental health illness in the state.
He said that apart from the fact that the bill will help in the establishment of mental health facilities across the state, it will also assist the government to be able to provide the victims with quality medical treatment, stop stigmatization and live decently within the larger society.
Hon. Saminu said further that the bill will assist the government at all levels to put measures in place to uphold the fundamental human right of people suffering from mental health challenges.
He, therefore, charged all the stakeholders to be rest assured that their inputs would be considered and accomodated before it is passed into law.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olabode Ladipo, identified stress as a major factor contributing to the illness of mental health. He mentioned economic hardship and and insecurity as reference points.
Pointing out areas needed to be looked into, Dr. Ladipo, called for the inclusion of the Ministry of Environment in the composition of the steering committee and also establishment of sub-committee that will serve as monitoring team.
While presenting his inputs, Executive Secretary, Primary Healthcare Board, Dr. Muhideen Olatunji, acknowledged that there is no enough facilities to accommodate people suffering from mental health illness across the country.
He charged the lawmakers to also consider the accommodating issue of attempted suicide from being a criminal matter, rather culprit should be rehabilitated and integrated to the society.
Representative of the Commissioner of Police, ACP Ikupolati Emmanuel, while citing that the responsibility of the Police is to ensure safety of lives and properties of the citizenry, also called for the inclusion of NDLEA and social worker as members of the steering committee.
He called for the public awareness against the stigmatization of the people suffering from mental health illness.
Other stakeholders who participated in the public hearing called for adequate funding, sensitization and public awareness.