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President Tinubu Is Urged By A Psychologist To Sign The Bill Establishing The Nigerian Council For Psychologists Now -By John Egbeazien Oshodi

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In light of the removal of fuel subsidies, Nigerians require psychological support.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, you made it clear to Nigerians that your decision to end a well-liked gasoline subsidy would, in the short term, place an additional burden on citizens. This burden includes a variety of stressors that have put many people in frustrating situations, as well as situations that can result in emotional or psychological suffering.

Mr. President these stressors like some of the effects of subsidy removal include sudden life changes as many could be struggling with financial problems, sudden debt, residential insecurity, work-related stress due to transportation problems, conflicts with families, relationship issues, romantic partner issues when money is low, or social isolation, and feeling of fear, apprehension, and uncertainty. These are short term stressors which could contribute to chronic frustrations and more significant emotional difficulties. Mr. President this is where Psychologists comes in.

The National Mental Health Act of Nigeria is now a law, which is a positive thing because for the previous 60 years, mental health policies and practices were based on the Lunacy Act of 1958.

The Nigerian psychiatrists, who are medical professionals with a focus on mental health, are primarily responsible for this new mental health law.  The majority of the time, they use psychiatric or psychotropic drugs to treat mental diseases.

Mr. President, you might want to be aware that the Nigerian Council for Psychologists bill, which the national legislature passed in 2019 and which would have provided guidelines for psychologists and the services they offer, has not been signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

You were quite correct, Mr. President, when you said, “I admit that the decision will impose extra burden on the masses of our people. I feel your pain,” you are implying the negative impacts of gasoline subsidies. You’re using a lot of psychological jargon when you said, you understand the people’s pain.

Psychologists, who have a wide variety of knowledge and concentrate largely on engaging in a discourse about urgent needs, are more well prepared to provide situational care and assistance than psychiatrists, who are mostly educated to have the appetite for prescribing psychotropic or psychiatric medicines. Medication is not the first line of defense for Nigerians who are suddenly suffering from situational stress brought on by specific events like the elimination of gasoline subsidies.

Many Nigerians who are going through challenging or unpleasant circumstances ought to receive psychological assistance.

Many Nigerians require psychological talks when dealing with challenging or unpleasant circumstances.

Psychologists who are known for giving their patients more time and freedom to learn about or cope with stressful conditions would teach and show distressed Nigerians effective coping mechanisms. Wherever the client is, at home, at work, at a park, on the street, or in the office, they will meet them and provide guidance on stress-reduction techniques. Utilizing a variety of techniques, such as tests to evaluate their intelligence, personality, and emotions to learn more about how they feel, think, and behave, you can assist them in determining the problem.

Once a psychologist has assisted you in identifying the precise situations or events that are the source of your stress, they will arm you with the knowledge and skills you need to develop a plan of action that is intended to directly address the problem. When acting as a client’s therapist, psychologists frequently seek their consent before contacting friends, family, or other trustworthy individuals to offer further emotional support and understanding. Psychologists employ what I called ‘showing the way by long-term talk and empathic support’ with their clients.

Mr. President, discussing one’s concerns can help to minimize the burden caused by subsidy effects, which will ultimately free up money for expenses related to a dependable supply of power, public transit, healthcare, and other infrastructure-related expenses. Without immediately relying on psychiatric drugs, psychologists can help patients manage their unpleasant thoughts, uncomfortable emotions, and negative spirits. Medicines are not always necessary when discussing techniques for calming your body and mind.

President Tinubu, you are aware of the benefits of counseling, support, and additional coping mechanisms that are appropriate to an individual’s needs in order to reduce situational stress without using drugs. You are an American-educated person with unwavering liberal democratic and social values.

The truth is that psychologists are case managers who can advocate for distressed Nigerians and inform them of the necessary palliatives, or actions or policies, that will be put in place to provide relief or support to individuals or groups affected by this stressful fuel subsidy situation or abrupt policy change. In order to help disadvantaged households or individuals deal with the abrupt stressors brought on by the elimination of fuel subsidies, psychologists will work with the government to raise awareness of the suffering of Nigerians and the urgent need for swift financial support and public transit. Psychologists serve as advocacy experts as part of their clinical and social missions, whereas psychiatrists often treat patients’ problems with prescription medications.

It’s time to acknowledge the necessity of the Psychology Bill, Mr. President. Though they both often play significant roles in the field of mental health, psychologists and psychiatrists in Nigeria must work together as colleagues without excessive competitiveness or power struggles.

Psychologists place a strong emphasis on prevention, taking proactive measures to help Nigerians stop or decrease serious issues before they arise. Nigerian culture has long been shaped by psychiatry as a result of its colonial background. However, because of recent developments, Nigeria now needs social development as well as educated, healthy Nigerians who can uphold the nation’s high standard of living.

Make Nigerian psychologists a formal and legal element of these national missions, Mr. President, if you want greater assistance while in office.

John Egbeazien Oshodi

John Egbeazien Oshodi

Professor John Egbeazien Oshodi, who was born in Uromi, Edo State, Nigeria, to a father who served in the Nigeria police for 37 years, is an American-based police and prison scientist and forensic, clinical, and legal psychologist. A government consultant on matters of forensic-clinical psychological services in the USA; and a former interim associate dean and assistant professor at Broward College, Florida. The Founder of the Dr. John Egbeazien Oshodi Foundation, Center for Psychological Health and Behavioral Change in African Settings. A former Secretary-General of the Nigeria Psychological Association. In 2011, he introduced state-of-the-art forensic psychology into Nigeria through N.U.C. and Nasarawa State University, where he served in the Department of Psychology as an Associate Professor. He has taught at various universities and colleges including Florida memorial University, Florida International University, Broward college, Lynn University, and currently an online faculty member at the Weldios university in Benin Republic, Nexus International University, Uganda, Nova Southeastern University and Walden University in USA.

Founder of the proposed Transatlantic Egbeazien Open University (TEU) of Values and Ethics, a digital project of truth, ethics, and openness. Over forty academic publications and creations, at least 300 public opinion pieces on African issues, and various books have been written by him. He specializes in psycho-prescriptive writings regarding African institutional and governance issues. His most recent textbook publication is Concise Psychology: An Integrated Forensic Approach to Psychology for Global African Settings. Jos5930458@aol.com

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