Mental Health Bill Scales First Reading in Oyo Assembly

The Oyo State House of Assembly has read for the first time the Oyo State Mental Health Service Bill, 2022.

The bill jointly sponsored by the Speaker, Hon Adebo Ogundoyin, Deputy Speaker, Hon Muhammad Fadeyi, Majority Leader, Hon Sanjo Adedoyin, Minority Leader, Hon Asimiyu Alarape and Hon Saminu is to provide for the protection, care and treatment of the mentally distressed persons in Oyo State.

Some of the objectives of the bill are to see to the establishment of mental health facilities and medical social work departments and units in all primary, secondary and tertiary medical facilities in Oyo State as well as ensure that mentally deranged persons have access to necessary facilities.

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The bill when passed will also guarantee the protection of persons suffering from mental disorders or illness and substance abuse in the state.

While speaking with newsmen, the Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon Adebo Ogundoyin said the bill was in fulfilment of his promise to stakeholders during the 2022 celebration of World Mental Health Day held on the 10th of October in Ibadan.

He said: “I promised at that forum that Oyo State would be among the first five states to pass the Mental Health Bill in the country. Here we are, the process has commenced. It has now passed the first reading.

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“We will give it accelerated hearing so that we may record another feat in the House of Assembly. As I speak, Ekiti State has taken the giant stride as the bill has been passed by them. We will follow suit pretty soon ” Oyo Speaker said.

He explained that the bill will provide a legal framework for the protection, care and treatment of persons living with mental health challenges or substance abuse.

The Speaker assured that the bill will equally put an end to the stigma and marginalisation the people in that category are subjected to which most times lead to their human rights being violated.

“There’s the need for government to give priority attention to mental health in the public health policies, government initiatives, free healthcare services and prevention methods and efforts.

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“In Nigeria, just like in any other growing nation, the healthcare system generally is poorly managed. Not many people have access to basic health care. And it is the same story for mental health too. Access to care is inadequate and unaffordable, and it is most times limited to cities. The bill seeks to address all these identified problems and hiccups so that we can have better care, treatment and protection for mental health patients”, Hon Ogundoyin said.


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