The Mind Management Foundation is targeting over 200, 000 members of the Nigeria Police Force in Lagos for mental health awareness training in recognition of the importance of mental health among the armed forces, police, and other paramilitary bodies, particularly given the declining economy. The foundation, a non-governmental organisation that provides remedies to mental health issues, said the programme was designed to assist the government in tackling the societal menace.
Flagging off the training at the Lagos Command, the Director of the Foundation, Barrister Arinze Emmanuel at an event to mark the 2023 World Mental Health Day, described mental health as a critical issue that affects people of all ages.
Emmanuel said with an estimated statistic of one in every four people in the society, mental health remains the root cause of suicide. “Our organisation is embarking on a road tour to take this awareness campaign to 200,000 policemen and women nationwide. Our vision is to take this training to all the barracks in the nation with a day of training on awareness drives about this societal menace. This reach would go a long way toward touching the lives of not only our police officers who would attend the training but also members of their families and friends. This is possible because, at the end of the training, the mindset of the officers would have changed for the better.” He added, “Aside from training the officers, the Foundation also intends to set up a counselling and mental health correctional centre in each of the police barracks and offices in all 36 states of Nigeria, starting with all the police commands in Lagos State.” He called on government and corporate bodies to help them in the fight against the dangerous trend.
The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Assistant Inspector General of Police, Mr Idowu Owohunwa, said: “The Nigeria Police is happy and fully supports this mental health awareness training since most Nigerian police officers serving in active service are in their prime, they are susceptible to depression and PTSD.
“Programmes for the creation, implementation, assessment, and supervision of psychotherapy services are required for young police officers and their families. This would not only go a long way to boost the morale of the police officers who attend the training but also further allow them to become more upbeat and committed to their jobs and tasks.”
He urged all police personnel to give their members the necessary support when it calls on their division.