Frequently Asked Questions
Mental Health Frequently Asked Questions
Mental health is made up of our beliefs, thoughts, feelings and behaviors. When talking about mental health, we are talking about metal wellbeing – the ability to solve problems, overcome difficulties, maintain healthy relationships and understand the world around us.
*Everyone has a mental health.
Mental illnesses are major disturbances in the way a person thinks, feels or behaves (or a combination of these). Mental illnesses are of different types and different degrees in severity. Mental illness can also be referred to mental health conditions, mental health problems or mental health challenges.
*Everyone has a mental health but not everyone has a mental illness
Just as people who feel unwell may not have any serious illness, someone may have a poor mental health without a mental illness. We all have days where we feel a bit stressed out, moody, or overwhelmed by events happening in our lives. Thus, being moody or overwhelmed does not indicate having mental illness.
An important part of mental health is the ability to adapt to change and cope with problems and stressful life events. It involves effective functioning in daily activities and healthy relationships.
Mental illnesses take many forms and each has its own set of signs and symptoms.
Generally, if your beliefs, thoughts, feelings and/or behavior have a significant impact on your daily functioning and social relationships, it is important to seek help.
Many people who have mental health conditions consider their signs and symptoms a normal part of life or avoid treatment out of shame or fear. If you are concerned about your mental health or that of your loved ones, don’t hesitate to seek advice.
Find out more about the symptoms here
Gently encourage the person to seek appropriate support. It will be useful to consider your relationship with the person before giving advice, as some people may be averse to mental health discussion. Be cautious with how you approach the situation. You may start by providing them with self-care resources and letting them know that you are a source of support for them. Use some helpful conversation starters about mental health. Try leading with these questions and make sure to carefully listen to your friend or family member’s response.
In dire situations – for example, when a person demonstrates threats to his/her personal safety or that of others – it may be necessary to enforce an involuntary treatment hold. Immediately call the emergency lines 727 or 112 to report the situation and get immediate assistance.
The Lagos State Suicide Hotline called the Lagos Lifeline provides behavioral health response.
57 flagship Primary Health Centers (PHCs) across Lagos State are the first points of call for getting mental health assessments. Depending on the acuity of the mental health problem, a treatment pipeline continues at any of the 5 District General Hospitals.
Mental health treatment is highly confidential, and health practitioners are bound by a code of ethics to maintain all confidentiality protocols and seek consent before the release of medical information to persons outside the health team that will be treating you.
If you are seen by a friend or family at any of the facilities providing mental health treatment in Lagos, you do not have to tell them the purpose of your visit if you are uncomfortable with it.
Fortunately, these facilities are multidimensional and also provide a variety of other health services. Hence, it will be unlikely that they come to a correct assumption about the purpose of your visit.
Just like physical health, mental health is integral to living a healthy, balanced life.
Having your mental health treated can positively improve your functioning, allowing you to focus on daily tasks and will give you the motivation to get things done.