Fayemi signs mental health service bill into law
Declares zero-tolerance for stigmatisation of mental disorder people
Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, yesterday, signed the Mental Health Service Bill into law, saying that the Act will provide a framework to protect, provide, care and treat persons living with mental health disorders or substance abuse.
Besides, the state government has declared zero tolerance for the stigmatisation of people living with mental disorders, saying this accounted for the enactment of the bill to guarantee their rights.
The government said it would continue to protect such category of citizens as equal members of the society, warning against any form of stigmatisation against them.
It said that catering for the needs of all members of the society regardless of physical, mental or social status is indicative of the level of the commitment to delivering Universal Health Coverage to the populace.
Fayemi said: “Mental health legislation is essential for protecting the rights of people living with mental disorders. Such persons are usually subjected to stigma and marginalisation, which increases the likelihood of their human rights being violated.
“Mental health disorders can also affect a person’s ability to make the right decisions, hence the need to institute an enabling system that will cater for the needs of such persons so they do not pose a risk to themselves or others.
“This Act provides the legal framework for handling critical issues such as the hospitalisation of persons with mental disorders, provision of high-quality care, improvement of access to care, protection of civil rights and protection and promotion of rights in other critical areas, such as education and employment.”
The law, according to Fayemi, will help in the provision of mental health facilities and establishment of medical social work department and units in selected secondary and tertiary medical facilities in the state.
“It will ensure that people living with mental disorders have access to mental healthcare facilities and ensure that every person received and admitted for treatment in a mental health facility is treated in accordance with the provisions of this
Law,” he said.
Also, the Commissioner for Health, Oyebanji Filani, stated that mental health law is required to ensure a regulatory framework for the provision of mental health services.
He said: “The Ekiti State Mental Health Service Law was developed to provide a legal framework for the assessment, treatment and protection of rights of persons diagnosed with mental health problems. It aims at ensuring that people living with mental health disorders are afforded the needed protection and care from the devastating consequences of mental illness.”