Psychiatric hospitals, also known as mental health hospitals, and mental health units, are hospitals or wards specializing in the treatment of serious mental disorders, such as major depressive disorder, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Psychiatric hospitals vary widely in their size and grading. Some hospitals may specialize only in short term or outpatient therapy for low-risk patients. Others may specialize in the temporary or permanent care of residents who, as a result of a psychological disorder, require routine assistance, treatment, or a specialized and controlled environment. Patients are often admitted on a voluntary basis, but people whom psychiatrists believe may pose a significant danger to themselves or others may be subject to involuntary commitment. Psychiatric hospitals may also be referred to as psychiatric wards or units (or “psych” wards/units) when they are a subunit of a regular hospital.
History of Mental Illness In Nigeria
The first early-eighteenth-century public and private hospitals in the West recognized that one important mission would be the care and treatment of those with severe symptoms of mental illnesses. Like most physically sick men and women, such individuals remained with their families and received treatment in their homes. Their communities showed significant tolerance for what they saw as strange thoughts and behaviors. But some such individuals seemed too violent or disruptive to remain at home or in their communities. In East Coast cities, both public almshouses and private hospitals set aside separate wards for the mentally ill. Private hospitals, in fact, depended on the money paid by wealthier families to care for their mentally ill husbands, wives, sons, and daughters to support their main charitable mission of caring for the physically sick poor.
In Nigeria, the history of mental hospitals started just over a century ago, when the Calabar Lunatic Asylum was established and on 31 Oct 1907, the first batch of fourteen patients were admitted to the Yaba Lunatic Asylum in Lagos, the Yaba Mental Hospital (renamed the Yaba Psychiatric Centre in 1977).
Mental illness did exist in Nigeria as elsewhere, already before the first contacts with the West. Nigerian languages have exact terms for different forms of mental disorders. Traditional healers specialized for the treatment of mental disorders have a long tradition especially in the Southern parts of Nigeria. Traditional pharmacies can be seen at many market places. Lunatics are placed in charge of native doctors, kept by their parents, or placed in the care of the keeper of the prison.
Every king or chief or head of a village or compound is supposed to have his own place or restraint, with chains, shackles, manacles, and staples to match. Lepers and lunatics are never buried in the house. The Oba of Benin is reported to have said. Lunatics were not allowed to roam about but were chained at home. The first reference to mental illness goes back only to 1849 (Lagos Town Council, 1961) when a British Army doctor, William Daniel, wrote that he did not think that mental cases were killed but that “insanity was rare in the coastal belt. Considering the limited diagnostic experience of medical practitioners of this time, it is not amazing he has seen but few mental cases. Most probably, he neither had much time to spend with individual patients.
List Of Psychiatric Hospitals In Nigeria
- The Neuropsychiatric hospital, Aro, Abeokuta: Designated by the World Health Organization in 1979 as the WHO Collaborating Centre in Research and Training in Mental Health and Neuroscience, selected by the Federal Government of Nigeria as one of the 7 specialty hospitals in Nigeria to be rehabilitated and equipped to a 5-star status, categorized as a 3-star service provider in 2008 by SERVICOM for acceptable quality service delivery.
- Yaba Psychiatric Hospital: The Federal Neuro Psychiatric Hospital, also known as Yaba Psychiatric Hospital or Yaba Left is a Nigerian Federal psychiatric hospital in Yaba, a suburb of Lagos. Yaba Psychiatric Hospital was established in Lagos in 1907 as Yaba Asylum.
- The Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Kaduna: The Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital (FNPH) was established in 1995 along with four other new Federal Neuro-psychiatric Hospitals in accordance with the National Mental Health Policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
- Federal Psychiatric Hospital, Calabar: Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Calabar is located at 123, Calabar Road, Cross river. It is a national and regional mental health resource centre known as one of the apex centre for Psychiatry in Nigeria before. This more than 100 years old Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital in Calabar.
- Tranquil and Quest: Tranquil and Quest is a private psychiatric hospital and drug addiction rehabilitation centre in the heart of Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria. This hospital pride themselves as a mental health facility in providing premium and innovative behavioral health services to individuals, families and organizations. They offer psychiatric evaluations, medication protocols, substance abuse treatments, individual therapy, family therapy and group therapy.
- Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Benin City: (FNPH Benin City)In 1964, the old Iyekuselu Districk Council Maternity/Dispensary located in Uselu was acquired by the Mid-Western regional government and the Psychiatric Unit was moved in and named Nervous Disease Clinic, Uselu.
- Synapse Services: Synapse Services has provided well over Eight years of high quality specialist mental health care services in Nigeria. It is the largest provider of private mental health care services in West Africa with a combined bed over 110 bed spaces.
- Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Sokoto: Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Kware is a Specialised Service Hospital located at Kware, Sokoto in Kware local government area of Sokoto State.
- Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Maiduguri: The Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Maiduguri was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria to cover the North East Zone comprising of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Taraba, Gombe and Yobe for the treatment and prevention of mental disorders (including) drug abuse and rehabilitation of the mentally ill persons.
- Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Enugu: Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital is an Enugu based Federal neuro pshychiatric hospital. It offers medical care to the mentally challenged within Enugu and it’s environs. Though this hospital has been plagued with series of industrial action from its members based on managerial issues but it made the bottom of the list of devoted psychiatric hospitals in Nigeria.
READ: List Federal, State and Private Teaching Hospitals in Nigeria