Prof Akhigbe identifies stress, substance abuse, bullying, aswarning signs of mental health

By DADA AYOKHAI

A don in the Department of Mental Health , University of Benin (UNIBEN)/University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Prof. Kingsley Akhigbe has
identified the warning signs of various mental health issues to include, stress, substance abuse, bullying, among others.

He called on members of the society to support persons battling with mental health issues particularly showing them compassion.

Prof Akhigbe made the revelation on Thursday while delivering the 293 inaugural lecture series of the University of Benin entitled, “Kolomental and the Elephant in the Room- Our Mental Health “.

The Professor of psychiatry and a distinguished mental health specialist, tasked government and other healthcare stakeholders to address crucial concerns related to mental health.

Prof Akhigbe delved into the concept of “Kolomental,” shedding light on individuals coping with severe mental health issues and advocated for empathy and understanding for patients suffering mental disorder.

“Beyond “Kolomental,” the lecture unveiled often unnoticed, non-psychotic psychiatric illnesses affecting individuals across society. These challenges frequently go undiagnosed and untreated. To this end, I emphasized the need for increased awareness and support.” Akhigbe said.

He stressed the need to break the stigma surrounding mental health, calling for open dialogue, understanding, and compassion to combat the barriers preventing individuals from seeking help.

While emphasizing the role of individuals, communities, and institutions in promoting mental well-being, the mental health specialist said early intervention and support were crucial in seeking help.

He sued for Evidence-based approaches to improving mental health outcomes just as he emphasized the significance of research in advancing the field.

Akhigbe who noted that the 293 inaugural lecture is a call to action, urged attendees and the broader community to engage in conversations that can transform lives.

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