By Adeyemi Sulaimon

A medical expert, Dr Alabi Qasim, has called for the establishment of a Non-Governmental Organization, that will discuss and enlighten Nigerians about mental health.

Dr Qasim made the call on Saturday while discussing about Depression at a professional seminar in Alimosho area of Lagos State.

He said the call was necessary as depression is one of the leading causes of suicidal attempts and suicide among Nigerians.

Citing a report from the World Health Organization, WHO, Dr Qasim said over 300 million are suffering depression globally, and that Nigeria ranks 30th out of the 183 most suicide-prone countries in the world.

According to him, depression could be a result of biological/genetic make up or psychological/psychosocial influence on an individual.

Dr Qasim, who is a medical officer with the Lagos State Ministry of Health, said there was need to support those suffering depression in the society as this would go a long way in changing their situation for better.

Another medical expert, Dr Islammiyyah Fashola, also of the Lagos State Ministry of Health, said observation was key to detecting someone with depression.

She said parents, especially, must keep good eye on their children as depression knows no age.

Dr Fashola narrated the case of a 16 years old girl who got depressed after she was raped.

“The girl did not tell anybody. She became depressed,, it was when they brought her to the hospital that she opened up. So, observation is key,” she said.

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