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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 105

Mental health in a recessed economy


Date of Web Publication17-Aug-2017

Correspondence Address:
Elaine Chinyelu Azinge

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcls.jcls_69_17

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How to cite this article:
Azinge EC. Mental health in a recessed economy. J Clin Sci 2017;14:105

How to cite this URL:
Azinge EC. Mental health in a recessed economy. J Clin Sci [serial online] 2017 [cited 2021 Apr 11];14:105. Available from: https://www.jcsjournal.org/text.asp?2017/14/3/105/213089

The 14th Annual Conference and Gathering of the Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos was held on the 4th and 5th July, 2017.

The very successful separate events focused on Mental Health in Nigeria in the light of current economic recession facing the country.

Economic recession is defined as a period of general economic decline which is accompanied by a drop in the stock market, an increase in unemployment and decline in available housing.

In general, a recession is less severe than a depression which is seen as sustained recession.[1]

Studies all over the world have shown that there is a direct relationship between a country's economic status and unemployment rate.[2],[3],[4]

Nigeria's unemployment rate rose to 15% in 2016 from 10.6% in 2015.[5]

Prolonged unemployment with its consequences, such as anxiety, self-doubt, and helplessness, can lead to negative mental health outcomes such as depression, pessimism, active distress, and fatalistic thoughts about the situation (Jahoda et al. 1933).[6]

Unemployed parents with responsibilities usually succumb to anxiety, frustration, disappointment, and alienation and this can lead to depression.[7]

In the Nigerian situation, the thinking is that not enough resources have been put into the practice of mental health. For this reason, mental health facilities are overwhelmed at a period like this when the country is faced with recession.

In his paper at the 14th gathering lecture, Prof. Francis Olatunji Aina, Professor of Psychiatry at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos dwelt on the fact that society and mental health are intertwined like the two sides of a coin.

He linked economic recession to the vulnerability of the mental health of the people. As a result of associated problems such as unemployment, income decline, increased rates of common mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, use of psychoactive substance, and suicidal behaviors have been found to be on the increase in Nigeria.

In his lecture on Mental Health Promotion as a National Development Strategy - Professor J. U. Ohaeri, Professor of Psychiatry of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, talked about upgrading our natural human virtues as an antidote to mental disorders. These virtues include positive emotions such as joy, happiness, optimism, courage, kindness, altruism, and conscientiousness.

He opined that this mode of promotion of mental health would be the most cost-effective way to strengthen the mental health of the people.

In this conference, a lot of awareness was raised about means of safeguarding the mental health of the citizenry. Communication lines have been set up in the hospital to ensure that those in need of help can get it.

All in all, this conference will help the country articulate the mental health needs of the people and accessibility of these facilities.

  References Top

Available from: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/recession. [Last accessed on 2017 Aug 07 ].  Back to cited text no. 1
Available from: http://google.com.ng/amp/s/www/cnbc.com/amp/2017/08/04/us-non farmpayrolls july2017 html. [Last accessed on 2017 Aug 07].  Back to cited text no. 2
Available from: http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/what-the-unemployment-rate-signals-on -th.e-economy/amp. [Last accessed on 2017 Aug 07].  Back to cited text no. 3
Available from: www.investopedia.com/trms/u/unempployment.asp. [Last accessed on 2017 Aug 07].  Back to cited text no. 4
Warr P. Work, Employment and Mental Health. New York: Oxford University Press; 1987.  Back to cited text no. 5
Jahoda M, Lazarsfeld PF, Zeisel H. (1933). Marienthal: The sociography of an unemployed community (English translation, 1971). Chicago: Aldine.  Back to cited text no. 6
Montgomery SM, Cook DG, Bartley MJ, Unemployment predates symptoms of depression and anxiety resulting in medical consultation in young men. Intl J of Epidermiology 1999;28:95-100.  Back to cited text no. 7


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