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Nigeria’s Mental Health Desert

Nigeria is failing those of its people who struggle with mental-health issues – no small share of the population. But with improved legislation, education, and support systems, the country can turn the tide on mental health, laying the groundwork for a healthier, happier, and more productive future.

ABUJA – To most Nigerians, mental illness is “when someone starts running around naked.” It is a shocking misconception, yet a full 70% of respondents to a recent mental-health survey – the country’s largest in nearly 20 years – believe it. And that was just one of the many misguided and harmful beliefs that the poll revealed.