Pass Nigeria's National Mental Health Bill

Pass Nigeria's National Mental Health Bill

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Nigerian Mental Health started this petition to Muhammadu Buhari (President of Nigeria) and

Nigeria’s current mental health law, the Lunacy Act of 1958, is a British colonial holdover that predates the country’s independence. Among other things, it empowers medical practitioners and magistrates to detain individuals with mental health conditions without providing medical or therapeutic treatment. It also allows chaining and shackling of patients against their will. People spend years in institutions – sometimes decades – because Nigeria lacks adequate services to support them in the community. This legislation is outdated and inhumane.

An updated mental health law is a critical investment for Nigeria, especially during COVID-19, as it ensures those in need receive compassionate and high-quality care. 

After repeated failed attempts at legislative reform in 2003 and 2013, the National Assembly passed the National Mental Health Bill 2020. It has been awaiting concurrence from the President since July 2021. Some provisions of the new law include establishing a Mental Health Services Department and Fund, human rights protections, and community-based coverage for those with mental health conditions.

Nigeria should pass this vital legislation! Its delay means continued denial of adequate and quality care for persons with psychological needs.

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0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!