Endorsement Of Mental Bill: CBM Global Inclusion Commends Buhari, NASS

Endorsement Of Mental Bill: CBM Global Inclusion Commends Buhari, NASS

By Paul Effiong, Abuja

CBM Global Disability Inclusion has commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of National Assembly for the passage and subseqent endorsement of the National Mental Health Bill 2021.

The Country Director, CBM Global Disability Inclusion, Ms. Umoh Ekaete in a strong worded press statement in Abuja at the weekend applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for prompt approval of the Act, describing the signing of the Bill into Law as historic in the struggle to ensure the protection of the rights of people with mental health issues in the Nigeria.

According to Ms Ekaete, “This indeed is very historic in the journey of promoting the rights of persons with Mental Health condition and psychosocial disabilities in the country.

The Country Director, CBM Global Inclusion further explained in the statement that for over 20 years of struggles for Mental Health legislative Reforms in Nigeria, the new mental health law has replaced the old and outdated, colonial era Lunacy Act of 1958 that was highly discriminatory of persons with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities in the Country.

She equally expressed the optimism that the new Mental Health law will address all the lapses observed in the former Legislation with no respect for human rights.

“The New Mental Health Act which becomes Nigeria’s first Mental Health Law since independence in 1960 is meant to provide equitable access to mental healthcare and other services as well as streamline judicial issues for people with mental illness in Nigeria”

The Country Director, CBM Nigeria also explained the core objectives of the new legislation in Nigeria stating that it’s aimed at prohibiting all kinds of discrimination in housing, employment, healthcare services among other social services emphasizing that the nee law will also help in expandingy-based coverage, elimination of forced and questionable therapy, seclusion as well as other types of confinement in facilities housing mental health persons.

In the statement, Ms Ekaete further emphasized the important of the new Mental Health Law in Nigeria informing that its will also guarantee that persons getting treatments have the right to decide how
their treatment will be handled or conducted, thereby creating an atmosphere for them to enjoy their human rights and reach full potential in life.

CBM Global equally used the opportunity to expressed their happiness about the new law even as they aplouded the development describing as ‘ great feat in the history of Nigeria’.

While congratulating all partners who have been involved in the process that finally led to the new legislation in Nigeria, the CBM country Director further hoped and pray for effective implementation to ensure that dreams and aspiration of persons with mental health problem are accurately address.

The statement said “The University of Ibadan (WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and
Training in Mental Health, Neurosciences and Substance Abuse, Department of Psychiatry), Federal Ministry of Health and the Mentally Aware Nigeria (MANI), Mandate Health Empowerment Initiative and Nigeria Mental Health Network for leading the mobilization of young people and Nigeria for awareness campaigns and wellness activities, media engagements, and convening of stakeholders to advocate passage of the Mental Health Bill, which drew the government’s attention to the Bill and its eventual passage.

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Mental BillMs. Umoh Ekaete