The Ekiti State Government has signed a bill on mental health services into law. Sun News Online reports that Governor Kayode Fayemi signed the bill into law earlier today while reiterating that his administration was committed to providing high quality health services, including mental health services to the members of his state. The Governor further explained the importance of providing appropriate healthcare to people with mental disorders. He stated that it was necessary to cater for the welfare of everyone in the society regardless of their physical, mental, or social status.
The Governor explained that the law was made to protect, provide, care, and treat people living with mental health disorders. This would help in saving those people from the stigma and marginalization that is usually attached to people living with mental health issues. He stated that such stigma and marginalization could increase the likelihood of violating their human rights and stated that the law would enable them to handle critical issues such as hospitalization and provision of high-quality care to people with mental health issues.
He further explained the core objectives of the law. These include; establishing purpose-built mental health facilities and medical Social Work Department and units in selected secondary and tertiary medical facilities. It also includes guaranteeing the protection of persons suffering from a mental disorder or illness and substance abuse in the state. Other objectives also include ensuring that every person living with mental disorders have access to mental health care facilities by admitting them into a designated facility to receive treatment.
“As I sign this bill into law, I am fully convinced that the people of Ekiti State will be the best for it. This law is another promise kept in our pursuit to deliver qualitative, people-centred healthcare solutions to Ekiti Kete that leaves no one behind. It will complement other efforts towards ensuring adequate health and social protection for our people, and we are grateful to God for the privilege of being the instrument through which his love for the vulnerable amongst us is demonstrated.” He stated.
Erelu Bisi Fayemi, the Governor’s wife, also showed her appreciation to the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Funminiyi Afuye and his colleagues; the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Olawale Fapohunda and the Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Bamji Filani for the policy framework and fast passage of the bill. She further pointed out some of the difficulties that could arise from driving the various initiatives of the administration without the necessary legal and policy framework.
Mrs Fayemi also explained the relationship between mental-health and gender-based violence. She stated that being the Chair of the Gender-Based Violence Management Committee was one of the reasons why she was a strong advocate for a mental health bill.