Man, who attempted suicide on mast need mental examination, says psychiatrist

A Consultant Psychiatrist, Prof Owoidoho Udofia, has raised concerns over ongoing detention of Shuaibu Yushau rescued from a suspected suicide attempt on Monday on mast, saying that the survivor should be receiving medical attention instead of detaining him by the police.

Penpushing reports that Udofia raised the concern while appearing as a guest on a television programme, as well as pointing out that the laws criminalising attempted suicide were barbaric and should be revisited.

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The Consultant Psychiatrist said the social development secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was carrying out medical checkups on the survivor, adding that the police have a medical facility, but called into question the adequacy of the police clinic in handling cases of attempted suicide.

Penpushing further reports that Udofia advised that a man who could climb a mast as high as 120 feet and remain there for hours needed a thorough professional medical examination, described Yushau as mentally fit, judging from his suicide note.

The Consultant argued that nothing on the suicide note connoted mental illness, but, however, stated that for mental well-being, the survivor is definitely not having the best of it, noting that what was written in the suicide note was an indication of a lack of social well-being tied to the current realities in the country.

Penpushing also reports that Udofia explained that every Nigerian has been stressed due to the socio-economic hardship, which affects the general mental well-being, explaining that mental, physical and social well-being form the three pillars of health, and if anyone is distorted, it can wreak havoc.

‘What determines the state of one’s mental health could be tied to exposure to social and economic factors such as poverty and violence. Mental health conditions could lead to mental disorders and even self-harm, like suicide attempts. Individuals who attempt suicide have been known to experience feelings of helplessness, bordering on the notion that the difficult situation they are going through could not get better’.

Penpushing reports that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has described mental health as a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realise their abilities, learn well and work well, and contribute to their community.

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