A call has been made for the Federal Government to establish mental health desks in police stations nationwide, with the aim of enhancing the well-being of Nigeria Police Force (NPF) members,Daily Trust report.
This request came from the Mind Management Foundation during a mental health awareness training organized for selected members of the police force in Lagos, as part of the activities commemorating World Mental Health Day.
Mental health challenges are reportedly prevalent among the armed forces, police, and other paramilitary organizations, contributing to certain excesses observed in personnel behavior.
Barrister Arinze Emmanuel, the Foundation’s Country Director, emphasized the essential role of police officers in safeguarding citizens’ lives and maintaining law and order in the country. He stressed the importance of improving their mental health conditions and called on the government, corporate entities, and concerned individuals to address this issue.
Arinze stated, “We have observed that many people are under immense pressure due to their work, leading to mental health issues becoming widespread. We urge the government, corporate bodies, and all concerned parties to pay attention to this issue. It is a significant concern that requires the authorities, media, and corporate bodies to collaborate in combating this dangerous trend.”
He further advised the federal government to allocate a specific budget for mental health, noting that mental health does not receive the same level of importance in budgetary allocations in Nigeria as it does in other parts of the world.
AIG Idowu Owohunwa, the Commissioner of Police for Lagos State, pointed out that there is currently no designated office responsible for monitoring the mental health of police officers, apart from the general medical care they receive. He encouraged the training participants to apply the knowledge they gained and collaborate with organizations like the Mind Management Foundation to enhance their mental well-being and that of their colleagues. Owohunwa emphasized the importance of raising awareness about mental health within the police force and extending the benefits of the training to all police divisions.