I will start with a heartfelt congratulations and appreciation to my two friends and family, Aishatu Yusha’u Armiya’u and Chris M.A. Kwaja, for your timely and crucial Policy Paper.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
This is a short ‘Olodo’ review (smiling) of your policy paper, but first let me again express deep appreciation for your exceptional work on the policy paper titled “What Does Securitization Mean for Forensic Mental Healthcare in Nigeria? The Search for Global Best Practices.”
Your dedication to shedding light on the pressing issues surrounding forensic mental healthcare in Nigeria is both commendable and timely. In a world where the mental well-being of individuals is often overlooked, your paper brings much-needed attention to the challenges faced by those grappling with mental health issues within the criminal justice system. The nuanced exploration of the correlates between securitization and forensic mental health is a crucial contribution to the academic and policy discourse.
The clarity and depth with which you analyze the challenges in Nigeria’s forensic mental healthcare system, coupled with your thoughtful recommendations for a securitized model, showcase the depth of your understanding and commitment to this critical issue. Your emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration and the adoption of the Forensic Assertive Community Treatment (FACT) approach reflects a well-rounded and pragmatic approach to addressing the complexities of the Nigerian context.
Moreover, the paper’s alignment with broader health security goals and the call for a shift in policy to prioritize mental health as a security imperative demonstrate a keen awareness of the socio-political landscape. The integration of global best practices with a sensitivity to local cultural nuances positions your recommendations as not only effective but also adaptive to the unique challenges faced by Nigeria.
In a nation grappling with resource constraints, societal perceptions, and systemic barriers, your policy paper stands as a beacon, guiding policymakers, stakeholders, and the government towards implementing impactful changes. The careful consideration of ethical concerns, such as compromised voluntariness and prolonged incarceration, adds a layer of depth to your work, emphasizing the need for comprehensive and compassionate solutions.
Like we say in local parlance ‘e day pain me’ but I sincerely hope that your paper reaches the hands of key decision-makers, government officials, and stakeholders involved in shaping mental health policies in Nigeria. The urgency and relevance of your work cannot be overstated, and I am optimistic that it will serve as a catalyst for meaningful reforms in forensic mental healthcare.
Now to the paper itself…this review is done so that those who will claim they did not see the paper will see this review, and look for the paper, which by the way, I have put the link at the end of this review.
I love how the paper explores the intersection between securitization and forensic mental healthcare in Nigeria, aiming to understand the challenges within the country’s policy and practice framework and proposing solutions. Despite global movements towards recovery-oriented care in forensic settings, Nigeria faces significant barriers, including the non-recognition of forensic mental health as a human security issue, overcrowded correctional facilities, workforce inadequacy, and funding constraints. The paper advocates for a security-responsive model, incorporating global best practices and the Forensic Assertive Community Treatment (FACT) approach.
Forensic mental healthcare, a complex blend of psychiatric care and criminal justice complexities, varies globally in adoption and application. The paper investigates Nigeria’s alignment with international best practices, highlighting challenges like resource constraints and societal perceptions affecting mental health services. It emphasizes the need to bridge the gap between global norms and Nigeria’s forensic mental health realities.
The paper reviews secondary literature, drawing insights from various perspectives to analyze the intersection of securitization and forensic mental health in Nigeria. It relies on the existing global normative framework and benchmarks, examining the role of research, policy, and praxis in shaping health security in Nigeria.
Understanding the Correlates between Securitization and Forensic Mental Health:
Securitization, emerging from the Copenhagen School in the 1990s, is crucial in framing health issues as security threats. Mental health, often omitted despite its global burden, needs attention. The paper aligns with the securitization of health, recognizing it as a potent approach to mobilize responses. The Nigerian government’s recent shift towards embedding health security in national security reflects a paradigm change, acknowledging health as a crucial security imperative.
Forensic Mental Health Care in Nigeria:
Nigeria’s current discourse on forensic mental health aims at recovery-oriented therapy, emphasizing rehabilitation and therapeutic alliances. However, systemic issues like overcrowding, lack of qualified professionals, funding gaps, and insufficient infrastructure hinder effective care delivery. The paper highlights ethical concerns, gender dimensions, and challenges faced by individuals found not guilty by reason of insanity, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive and culturally adaptive approach.
Challenges Hindering Optimal Forensic Mental Health Services in Nigeria:
Inadequate financing, societal stigma, and institutional weaknesses contribute to challenges in forensic mental health services. The paper addresses issues related to care equivalency, discrimination, and injustice within correctional facilities. The gendered dimension of forensic health care remains complex, necessitating gender-specific considerations within the correctional service system.
Developing a Securitized and Comprehensive Model:
To overcome challenges, the paper proposes a securitized model, emphasizing interdisciplinary collaborations and integrating mental health training into security, law enforcement, and correctional service curricula. The adoption of the FACT approach and a focus on family and social networks aim to provide culturally adaptive support.
The paper concludes by emphasizing the need for a multidisciplinary approach to forensic mental health in Nigeria, aligning with global standards while considering local nuances. Building capacity, investing in infrastructure, and integrating security into mental health policies are crucial for addressing the security needs of mentally ill individuals. The call is for a comprehensive, integrated, and pragmatic approach to navigate Nigeria’s forensic mental health challenges in an ever-changing global landscape.
I will end by saying once again, congratulations to both of you on your outstanding contribution to the field. Your dedication to improving the lives of individuals facing mental health challenges is truly inspiring. May your voices resonate and spark the necessary changes for a more compassionate and effective forensic mental healthcare system in Nigeria and may Nigeria win.
NB. The link for the policy paper is https://thenextier.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/What-Does-Securitization-Mean.pdf