The Bureau of Communications and Strategy in the Office of the Governor in Osun on Sunday disclosed that a total of sixty-five mentally challenged people have been rehabilitated and empowered under the state’s human rehabilitation programme, called O-REHAB.
The Bureau explained that those rehabilitated and financially empowered have been re- integrated in to the society their families and are already contributing their quota to the growth of the state.
The Bureau of Communications and Strategy, through a statement signed by its Director, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon pointed out that the feedback from patients after their recovery and return to their families have been encouraging and pleasant.
“It should be noted that one of the major concerns of the present administration in human capacity development. It looks intangible because we are in an environment where what constitutes developments in the estimation of many is the gigantic physical structures. But a responsible government cannot afford to see its citizens becoming destitute mostly out of lack of care.
“Out of each of the mentally challenged people on the streets are potential contributors to the growth of an economy. It takes only a responsive and responsible government to recognize that fact. That is why the present administration is pushing forward to ensure that are streets are rid of destitute,” the Bureau stated.
The Bureau also added that key of all the needs of the patients is medication which government believed without which the whole exercise will be a waste.
According to him, “the Osun rehabilitation Centre (O Rehab) kicked off in the month of August, 2012 under the supervision of the Department of Special Needs, sequel to the establishment of Ministry of Youths, Sports and Special Needs by the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola in 2011.
“The Department of Special Needs was saddled with the responsibility of providing adequate treatment and rehabilitation for the mentally –challenged persons/destitute in the street of Osun.
“The present administration provided accommodations for the rehabilitation of the mentally challenged persons and for training and development after medical and psychiatric treatment from the designated psychiatric hospitals have certified them fit to live normal lives.”
Okanlawon averred that repatriation of patients from neighbouring states is an acceptable practice with mutual understanding among states like Lagos, Ondo, Oyo, and Kwara.
Calling on the society to support the scheme through the right attitude, the Bureau said one of the challenges remains the usual stigmatisation by the public once a person suffers from mental-illness.
“We must ensure that our people drop such belief that mental illness is incurable and passing of derogatory remarks on the person of the patients. When there are re-occurrences or occasional attacks due, they could be due to pressure or economic difficulties being faced by those affected.
The statement noted that there are many others who are undergoing different stages of rehabilitation and are to be reintegrated into the society once their rehabilitation programme is completed.