Nigerian Mental Health Network Founder, Chime Asonye has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the National Mental Health Bill 2021, into law.
Asonye urged incoming administrations to prioritise and implement the National Mental Health Bill 2021 in order to improve the country’s healthcare system.
According to him, the bill is the first legislative reform in the field since independence and a significant step toward improving psychosocial well-being support.
The network also called on the government to enact other critical reforms for those with mental health conditions, such as decriminalising attempted suicidewhich is currently a felony subject to a year in prison.
They also urged the National Assembly to ensure gazetted copies of the bill are available to citizens, so they know their new legal rights.
He noted that the regulation, assented to on Jan. 5, established human rights protections for those with mental health conditions, such as banning discrimination in housing, employment, medical and other social services.
According to him, other provisions of the bill include establishing a new mental health fund, a mental health department in the Federal Ministry of Health, and a mental health assessment committee to protect stakeholders.
Asonye further explained that the bill also expanded community-based coverage and improve the care and management of those with mental health conditions. P.M NEWS