MENTAL HEALTH AND THE STATE OF THE NATION

I read The Wretched of the Earth, written in 1961 book by the psychiatrist Frantz Fanon in the early 1990 as part of my self-commissioned Socio-politcal education.

I later read the A Dying Colonialism.

I was so much in love with Fanon, his writings and ideology that I had his full portrait in my room in school

In The Wretched of the Earth, according to Wikipedia, ‘the author provides a psychiatric and psychologic analysis of the dehumanizing effects of colonization upon the individual and the nation, and discusses the broader social, cultural, and political implications inherent to establishing a social movement for the decolonization of a person and of a people…’

It is therefore my conclusion that any conversation on Mental Health in Nigeria today that does not address the state of the nation is misplaced and will not deliver any tangible result.

The state of the Nigerian ‘union’ is in a state of labyrinthine interregnum. It is call Egbirin ote…

Such unabated and unaddressed situation puts the people under undue pressure and attacks their mental health immensely.

To fix our people’s mental health, we must first diagnose the same within the context of an unsettled Nigerian state, offer temporary support and work towards rescuing the Nigerian State as the long-term solution.

The ultimate solution to the mental health issue in a Third World country like Nigeria is to fix the nation.

One may rightly argue that mental health issues abound even in first world countries and economies. The beginning of proferring a solution to a problem however is to diagnose same within its specific context.

The cause of mental health differs definitely from country to country. In the Third World, the state of the nation is definitely a major contributor to the rising mental health cases and the lack of treatment and response to existing ones.

It is in the spirit of the foregoing that I recommend Fanon’s materials to every mental health practitioner, operating here and who wants to be truly relevant to the hopes, yearnings and aspirations of the people concerning their mental health.

I also recommend the same to our citizens too, who seek to understand themselves, behavioural patterns and how to adequately respond to the same in a nation on its knees…

Thank you

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