A former Chief Medical Officer of the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Hospital in Yaba, Lagos, Dr Idowu Malomo, has attributed the rising suicide rate among young Nigerians to pressure from the society and their respective families.
Speaking during an event held to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service Centre in Oshodi, Lagos, Malomo said there was a need for parents and guardians to stop putting undue pressure on young people to achieve success by all means.
He said, “The main problem is that there is undue emphasis on scholastic attainments, whereas there are many other areas where young people can achieve success. We don’t all have to graduate from the university with a first class Bachlor degree.
“Young people should be encouraged to discover and develop their hidden talents. Everything is not about high grades. This unnecessary emphasis on high grades is causing corruption and examination malpractices. A child that doesn’t attend university can be a good entrepreneur and contribute to national development. A university degree is not the only meal ticket that Nigerians have.”
Malomo said the centre was built to draw the attention of Nigerians to the challenges facing children in the country and to use modern management techniques to care for them.
He added that the centre had also focused on skills acquisition as a means of addressing the problem of drug abuse among adolescents.
The Chief Medical Director of the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, Dr Oluyemi Ogun, said the centre had, in the last 20 years, attended to over 21,000 children with special needs.
She said, “In 20 years, we have gone from a clinic with just one doctor and a nurse to a multidisciplinary centre where we have most of the experts under one roof. We have reduced the waiting time for our patients and made the burden of accessing treatment for children easier for parents.
“Many of the children that we have attended to are now graduates. Some of them are married. If the centre had not been built, many of the children with special needs would have become useless in the society.”