Nigeria has been urged to end all forms of abuse in state-run mental health institutions as well as religious healing centres.
In a report published on Monday Human Rights Watch (HRW) said thousands of Nigerians with mental health conditions face prolonged detention, chaining, physical and sexual violence or forced treatment, including electroshock therapy.
The campaigning group said mistreatment is rife in both Christian and Islamic faith healing centres and state hospitals and rehabilitation centres. This is despite the recent closure of several facilities and a condemnation of abusive facilities from President Muhammadu Buharis office.
Last week, an Islamic rehabilitation centre with 259 patients in the southwestern city of Ibadan was shut down and its owner arrested. Buharis office said in a statement in October that Nigeria would not tolerate the existence of the torture chambers and physical abuses of inmates in the name of rehabilitation.
But HRWs report shows that such interventions have fallen short of addressing a problem that is widespread across Nigeria. Stigma and misconceptions, including beliefs that mental health conditions are caused by evil spirits or demons, mean that patients are often detained, abused and forced to sleep, eat and defecate within the same confined space, often in front of others, HRW said.
There are less than 300 psychiatrists in a population of over 200 million, most of whom cannot afford mental health care. This drives many to traditional religious healing centres, where prayer and herbal treatments are prescribed.
People spend years in institutions sometimes decades because Nigeria lacks adequate services to support them in the community, according to the report.
Patients in some Christian facilities, HRW said, are forced to fast for up to three days as a form of religious treatment. Some Islamic centres are found to have employed whipping.
HRW said it witnessed dozens of men and women chained in state-run facilities in northern Nigeria and said most had lived there for years, some for up to 15 years.
Chaining was practiced across all but one of 28 facilities visited by HRW researchers. Typically staff fasten a chain to either both or one ankle of a person and connect it to a heavy or immovable object, such as a bed, tree, or car engine. In some cases, shackles consisted of an iron bracelet around both ankles, making it difficult for the person to move around, the report said.
Chaining has not been outlawed in Nigeria, even though the constitution prohibits torture and the UN has said the practice unequivocally amount[s] to torture.
A woman held in a traditional healing centre near the capital, Abuja, was found restrained to a tree trunk with an iron ring. She had been there for three weeks with her upper body naked she was unable to move and so she was forced to eat, urinate, and defecate where she sat, HRW said.
A man held in Ibadan said: I was chained for five months. It hurts when I try to walk.
Emina erimovi, a HRW senior researcher, said people with mental health problems needed support. People with mental health conditions find themselves in chains in various places in Nigeria, subject to years of unimaginable hardship and abuse.
Some Nigerians have taken matters in their own hands, setting up groups to raise awareness and tackle stigma such as Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative, a user-led informal support network with more than 1,500 volunteers.
Shums, a 27-year-old man held in an Islamic rehabilitation centre in northern Nigeria, told HRW he was shackled by the leg to another patient. We are like this all the time. Even when we have to use the toilet or sleep, he said.
Akanni, a 22-year-old woman, has been held in a church in the southwestern city of Abeokuta for five months after suffering a mental health crisis when her mother died.
When my father brought me, I didnt know that he would leave me here, she said. I was not happy, but I dont have a choice.
See the original post:
- This town of 170,000 replaced some cops with medics and mental health workers. It's worked for over 30 years - CNN - July 5th, 2020
- Donnelly: Progress on horizon for mental health - The Columbian - July 5th, 2020
- Mental health strain on firefighters must not be swept under the rug - Las Vegas Sun - July 5th, 2020
- People in mental health crises need help, not handcuffs - STAT - STAT - July 5th, 2020
- Mental health myth: Mental illness is the same for people of all races - BlueRidgeNow.com - July 5th, 2020
- Pandemic mental health: the urgency of self-care - The European Sting - July 5th, 2020
- JOHN ROSEMOND: Is there a child/teen mental health crisis? - Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal - July 5th, 2020
- Peak Wellness Center to host webinar focused on Minority Mental Health Awareness Month - Wyoming Tribune - July 5th, 2020
- Mental Health Greensboro Offers Support This Summer - The Rhino TImes - July 5th, 2020
- Love Island's Belle Hassan opens up on mental health - digitalspy.com - July 5th, 2020
- Providing mental health support for youths affected by COVID-19 - Swinburne University of Technology - July 5th, 2020
- How the Cult of Sleep-Deprivation Affects Work and Mental Health - Harvard Business Review - July 5th, 2020
- Can snoring affect mental health? Heres what you need to know - The Indian Express - July 5th, 2020
- Mental health expert suggests ways for coping with coronavirus crisis - The News International - July 5th, 2020
- Swimming out of the darkness: How cold-water swimming helps with mental health - ABC News - July 5th, 2020
- Mohena Kumari on Covid-19 isolation affecting mental health: I had a lot of anxiety during those d... - Hindustan Times - July 5th, 2020
- Anand Mahindra believes we may be confronting a mental health crisis. Here's why - Times Now - July 5th, 2020
- How neuro-knowledge can help us find happiness and improve mental health - ABC News - July 5th, 2020
- How is mental health manifesting itself in the insurance world? - Insurance Business - June 22nd, 2020
- Native American groups address mental and behavioral health as COVID-19 wears on - Salt Lake Tribune - June 22nd, 2020
- Will digital mental health solutions thrive after Covid-19? - Medical Device Network - June 22nd, 2020
- ATAI dives into digital therapeutics to boost mental health care - FierceBiotech - June 22nd, 2020
- While Some Experts Brace For Tsunami Of Mental Health Issues, Others Predict Crisis Will Be Short-Lived - Kaiser Health News - June 22nd, 2020
- An inside look at Stanford's one-of-a-kind course on mental health innovation, where students mingle with industry experts and develop business plans... - June 22nd, 2020
- Defund police? Some cities have already started, investing in mental health instead - USA TODAY - June 22nd, 2020
- Discussion: You Don't Have To Go Far To Improve Mental Health - WCCO | CBS Minnesota - June 22nd, 2020
- Post-traumatic growth will happen in some after Covid-19 ends - STAT - STAT - June 22nd, 2020
- UPDATE: Police reopen east Bloomington area after addressing 'mental health crisis situation' - Bloomington Pantagraph - June 22nd, 2020
- Mental Health and Sleep Behaviors Are Affected by Diabetic Neuropathic Pain - Endocrinology Advisor - June 22nd, 2020
- 'You are not alone': The pandemic is causing increased anxiety. Here's how to get help - Desert Sun - June 22nd, 2020
- Usher's New Look and Cricket Wireless to Host Virtual Youth Mental Health Summit Addressing the Effects of COVID-19, Systemic Racism and Social... - June 22nd, 2020
- Mental Health Court receives funding for second year - The Owensboro Times - June 22nd, 2020
- Mental health conditions are not a normal part of aging: Dr. Brad Lucas - cleveland.com - June 22nd, 2020
- 'A culmination of crises': America is in turmoil, and a mental health crisis looms next - USA TODAY - June 22nd, 2020
- Covid-19 affects BAME youth mental health more than white peers study - The Guardian - June 22nd, 2020
- UW study looks at the long-term mental health toll of lockdowns - MyNorthwest.com - June 22nd, 2020
- The mental health victims of the pandemic the role of intervention - National Health Executive - June 22nd, 2020
- FCF|REACT Capacity Building on Adult and Child Mental Health - ReliefWeb - June 22nd, 2020
- Three Corners Health hopes to bridge the gap through online mental health forum - Williams Lake Tribune - June 22nd, 2020
- Larimer County, Fort Collins spar over location of behavioral health facility - Coloradoan - June 22nd, 2020
- Pandemic takes a toll on mental health of US residents, new national survey shows - News@Northeastern - June 22nd, 2020
- In the name of #MentalHealth - Mumbai Mirror - June 22nd, 2020
- Uthappa bares it all to raise awareness on mental health and suicide prevention - The New Indian Express - June 22nd, 2020
- Woman Behind Bars With Severe Mental Illness Gets Moved From County Jail - levittownnow.com - June 22nd, 2020
- As activists call to defund the police, mental-health advocates say the time is now to rethink public safety - MarketWatch - June 22nd, 2020
- WRITE TEAM: COVID-19 and mental health/addiction impact - MyWebTimes.com - May 26th, 2020
- Food Service Workers Are on the Brink of a Mental Health Crisis. These Efforts are Helping. - Civil Eats - May 26th, 2020
- 'We are all going through this:' Albany County mental health hotline helping hundreds - Albany Times Union - May 26th, 2020
- Here2Help Mental Health Coalition Library Forum: How to Recognize and Support People in Emotional Distress - TAPinto.net - May 26th, 2020
- VIDEO: YouTuber shows what it's like to have anxiety and panic attacks - Insider - INSIDER - May 26th, 2020
- Mental health and social isolation: how do have an active participation in self-care? - The European Sting - May 26th, 2020
- Cahill calls for mental health unit to be restored, expanded in Kingston - The Daily Freeman - May 26th, 2020
- Copper Ball virtual auction to benefit northern Arizona behavioral health - Arizona Daily Sun - May 26th, 2020
- Online therapy having its moment, bringing insights on how to expand mental health services going forward - The Conversation US - May 26th, 2020
- 'Like an earthquake with many aftershocks,' Coping with mental health and substance abuse issues during pandemic - Monadnock Ledger Transcript - May 26th, 2020
- Mental health apps draw wave of new users as experts call for more oversight - CNBC - May 26th, 2020
- Free Therapy and Mental Health Services You Can Access During the Coronavirus Outbreak - MSN Money - May 26th, 2020
- Mental health: How to care for yourself during the pandemic - CNN - May 26th, 2020
- Covid 19: This form of yoga can improve mental health, suggests study - The Indian Express - May 26th, 2020
- We Need to Take Action to Address the Mental Health Crisis in This Pandemic - TIME - May 26th, 2020
- Katie Lou Samuelson on mental health journey -- 'I realized I needed to ask for help' - ESPN - May 26th, 2020
- 3 signs that your coworker may be struggling with mental health issues - Fast Company - May 26th, 2020
- Singapore-based Intellect wants to lower barriers to mental health support in Asia - TechCrunch - May 16th, 2020
- Take care of your mind: mental health at JMU - The Breeze - May 16th, 2020
- The government will spend $48 million to safeguard mental health. Extending JobKeeper would safeguard it even more - The Conversation AU - May 16th, 2020
- Mental health expert panel discusses how to best deal with differing opinions on COVID-19 - WSAW - May 16th, 2020
- Greater Olean Area Mental Health Professionals Talk About How They Cope With the Pandemic - TAPinto.net - May 16th, 2020
- Letter to the Editor | Mental health requires more attention - Daily Illini - May 16th, 2020
- Mental health therapist concerned about telehealth reimbursements after emergency proclamation ends - KCRG - May 16th, 2020
- Coping Through COVID: The Importance of Mental Health - Patch.com - May 16th, 2020
- Suicide Prevention Aims To Get Ahead Of Pandemic's Added Pressures : Shots - Health News - NPR - May 16th, 2020
- Virtual mental health help for nurses at the front line of COVID-19 pandemic - Wink News - May 16th, 2020
- Experts worry about effects of coronavirus pandemic on those with mental health issues - CBS News - May 16th, 2020
- In China, covid-19 has focused attention on mental health - The Economist - May 16th, 2020
- Deaths and hunger strikes point to mental health crisis on stranded cruise ships - The Guardian - May 16th, 2020
- Im a survival psychologist, and this how weeks of social isolation is affecting your mental health - Well+Good - May 16th, 2020
- No Stigma Nevada: Its the worst time to skimp on mental-health resources - Elko Daily Free Press - May 12th, 2020
- Texas mental health counselors see influx of patients during coronavirus - The Texas Tribune - May 12th, 2020
- COVID-19 and your mental health | Health - Payson Roundup - May 12th, 2020
- Mental health in the workplace: The final frontier - Daily Herald - May 12th, 2020