Lagos State Mental Health Policy
A national policy was introduced in Nigeria in 1991 based on identified problems in mental health. However, this policy has not been implemented nationwide and remains broad statements of good intentions. No timelines have been put in place and no specific structures for implementation have been created.
In order to avoid being stalled by the same road blocks, the Lagos State Mental Health Policy was established based on the national philosophy of justice and equity and will be sufficiently strategized to deliver its key objectives.
Lagos State Mental Health Law
Prior the passing of the law, the state’s mental health services were operated on the regulations of the Lagos Lunacy Act – an act of the State Assembly which had its roots in the Nigerian Lunacy Law of 1920. The Law sought to provide custody and removal of persons with mental disorders from the streets of Lagos. This law was last reviewed in 1964 when mental health services were still rudimentary. The Act had lost its contemporary relevance, including its usage of terms of reference in bot conceptual and philosophical regards. For instance, words like “lunatic”, “idiot” and “asylum” amongst others which appear in the Act are currently deemed inappropriate.