kind of detailed study that explores the relationship between participation in such services and health that has been done elsewhere ( Peltzer, 1987).
With the adoption of PHC as the instrument for dispensing health in Nigeria, there is an attempt to rethink mental health. The idea of functional balance between the person, the group, and the environment as the ideal of mental health is quite useful. It encourages cooperation between mental health workers, educators, and environmental planners. In this way, sensitivity to mental health needs is built into all community activity from inception rather than added on. Hopefully, the mental health worker may take his or her place among community leaders. Also, location of mental health services within the mainstream of health care at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels will do much to destigmatize mental illness.
Again, the focus of activity of the university and mental hospital centers has been redefined. They now must train and retrain primary-care workers and mount continuing education courses. They will now have to offer consultancy in evaluation of programs and researching new approaches. By the time the PHC has become well rooted, the interlinkages with the existing tertiary services will have to be worked out more thoroughly.
Funding of mental health has followed the pattern of general health care even though it enjoys a lower order of priority. If ongoing efforts to establish a health insurance scheme succeed, the pattern of coverage for mental health will become an issue. It seems likely that the government and parastatal organizations may have no choice but to cover mental health services in the same way as physical health. Private employers may hesitate to cover an illness that they misperceive as leading to inevitable and irreversible loss of productivity or endangerment of the workplace. Fortunately, the labor organizations have considerable clout and experience in negotiating worker welfare in Nigeria. Leaders in the mental health field and professional associations will have to awaken to their responsibility to mount mental health educative and promotive (primary prevention) programs. Early diagnosis and treatment (secondary prevention) will also be emphasized to cut costs and preserve functions.
Abel T. M., & Metraux R. ( 1974). Culture and psychotherapy. New Haven, CT: College & University Press.
Ademuwagun Z. A., Ayoade J. A.A., Harrison I. E., & Warren D. M. ( 1979). African therapeutic systems. Waltham, MA: Crossroads Press.
Anumonye A. ( 1976). Nigerian mental health directory, Lagos. Nigeria: Lagos University Teaching Hospital/College of Medicine of the University of Lagos Printing Department.