The Society of Family Physicians of Nigeria (SOFPON) has urged the Federal Government to take proactive steps towards addressing the economic hardship in the country.
The group made the call on the heels of rising cases of suicide in the country, which it said, has its roots in the hard times being experienced by most Nigerians.
About 788,000 suicide deaths were recorded globally in 2015 and depression was responsible for more than half of all suicide attempts while about seven million Nigerians live with depression President of SOFPON, Dr. Akin Moses, who briefed journalists on World Family Doctors Day 2017 yesterday in Abuja, said about 53.5 percent of Nigerians live below the poverty line compared to other African countries, which have a lower percentage.
He also disclosed that negative events such as bereavement, job losses, financial difficulties, divorce, loneliness and child abuse, among others could trigger depression.
People with chronic pains, illnesses, caregiver burden, patient on certain drugs and those abusing drugs such as cocaine, narcotics and alcohols risked increased depression.
He noted that in Nigeria only one fifth of those with depressive episode receive any treatment while only one out of 50 persons receive adequate treatment, adding that most health care providers do not suspect or even recognise depression unless it was severe.
Moses added that most Nigerians, because of the stigma associated with the disease, were afraid of going for treatment or even seeking counsel on their condition.
The Guardian News