The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has said his government would continue to protect people living with mental disorders in the state, saying this accounted for the enactment of the Mental Health Service Act, to guarantee them rights.

Fayemi said he believed strongly that catering for the needs of all members of our society regardless of physical, mental, or social status, is indicative of the level of our commitment to delivering Universal Health Coverage to the pioukace.

Fayemi, who signed the bill into law yesterday in Ado Ekiti, maintained that the Act provides a framework to protect, provide care, and treat persons living with mental health disorders or substance abuse without hindrance.

He said”: “Mental health legislation is essential for protecting the rights of people living with mental disorders. Such persons are usually subjected to stigma and marginalization which increases the likelihood of their human rights being violated.

“Mental health disorders can also affect a person’s ability to make the right decisions, hence the need to institute an enabling system that will cater to the needs of such persons, so they do not pose a risk to themselves or others. “This Act provides the legal framework for handling critical issues such as the hospitalisation of persons with mental disorders, the provision of high-quality care, the improvement of access to care, the protection of civil rights and the protection and promotion of rights in other critical areas such as, education and employment”.

The law, according to Fayemi, will help in provision of mental health facilities and establishment of medical social work department and units in selected secondary, and tertiary medical facilities in the State.

Fayemi added: “It will ensure that people living with mental disorders have access to mental health care facilities in the State; and; ensure that every person received and admitted for treatment in a mental health facility is treated in accordance with the provisions of this Law.

Also, the Commissioner for Health, Oyebanji Filani, stated that the mental health law is required to ensure a regulatory framework for the provision of mental health services.

“The Ekiti State Mental Health Service Act was developed to provide a legal framework for the assessment, treatment and protection of rights of persons diagnosed with mental health problems.It aims to ensure that people living with mental health disorders are afforded the needed protection and care from the devastating consequences of mental illness.

“On the basis of this law, the Ekiti State Mental Health Service will be established to preserve the dignity of persons dealing with mental health disorders.

“This service will be represented in primary, secondary and tertiary health facilities with the aim of providing clinical and nonclinical care, aimed at reducing the impact of mental health disorders and improving the quality of life of the patients.

“This service would enable affordable, equitable and accessible care for patients, in an environment devoid of stigma, dehumanisation and judgement. The State Mental Health Service will provide care to both voluntary and involuntary patients dealing with mental health disorders”.

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