Annual Scientific Conference of the Association of Psychiatric Nurses of Nigeria in Abeokuta on Tuesday.
The NANNM boss, who urged President Muhammadu Buhari to give maximum attention to mental health, said most of the people who steal public funds were suffering from mental illness.
Adeniji called for attention to mental health in the country, saying that sector had been neglected for long.He said the number of mental health institutions are not enough.
The union chief said, “Government is not doing enough, if it is only in 2013 that we had the Mental Health Act.
“There is no single unit or department in the Federal Ministry of Health that is for mental health.
“By this, we cannot say the government is doing enough. When you count the number of psychiatric hospitals we have as against the physical ill-health hospitals we have in the country, it is very few. The same thing goes for human resources.
“That is why we need to call on government to do more in the area of training of manpower. Most of the corrupt politicians and civil servants that steal billions have mental problems, because how are they even going to spend such huge amount of money?”
Adeniji also supported the idea of subjecting those aspiring for public offices to mental health screening, arguing that this would help in determining those that psychologically fit to administer the country.
The Chairman Ogun State Chapter of the Association of Psychiatric Nurses of Nigeria, Abiola Ogunniyi, called for measures aimed at reducing misconceptions and stigmatisation in the management of mental illness.
He lamented the majority of Nigerians are ignorant of many facts about mental illness despite the level of civilisation.
He also called on government to employ more mental health workers and subsidise mental health care to make it accessible to ordinary people.