Defence and Police Officers’ Wives Association (DEPOWA), is set to establish a fully equipped, and World class Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) Diagnostic, Treatment, Rehabilitation and Research Centre in Abuja.
This is in a bid to bridge the huge gap in mental health responses in Nigeria, especially in the treatment and rehabilitation of troops dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD).
Speaking to Newsmen on the proposed DEPOWA-powered Armed Forces PTSD centre, in Abuja, President of DEPOWA, Barrister Mrs Vickie Anwuli Irabor stressed the need for troops who leave combat zones with physical injuries and suppressed emotional trauma to be managed properly.
According to Barrister Irabor, the Center when established, with the full support of Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, Service Chiefs, and other stakeholders, will help to evaluate, counsel, and provide adequate support to personnel dealing with traumatic conditions on the frontlines and by extension, their families before reintegration from conflict zones.
“One of the major issues raised from the analysis of feedback from military wives across the Country is the distinct traits observed, such as nightmares, anxiety, insomnia, burst of anger, violence, depression, flashbacks, intrusion, suicidal tendencies and other related traits.
“In consultations with medical personnel, we are made to understand that these behavioral changes are triggered in response to trauma experienced in the daily discharge of duty at conflict zones, as such is an expression of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
“Consequently, we the wives of our gallant soldiers have decided not to sit and watch but mobilize timely intervention towards reducing the impact of such trauma on our personnel.
“It is our desire to have a reintegration structure for our husbands that ensures they return to us in good health and total wellness” Irabor said.
The Association further advocated for sensitization on mental health acceptance, especially the issue of PTSD treatment and anti-stigmatization, so as to enable personnel submit to the specialist care that is necessary for societal development.
The project proposed to have its first phase commissioned by April 2023 according to the DEPOWA President, would enhance national, regional, and global stability, as well as help, boost military capability thereby contributing to the worldwide fight against terrorism.
Mrs. Vickie Irabor who believed that establishing the facility would be a step towards ensuring the stability of military families, also assured that the project when fully completed would serve as a repository for research on mental health challenges in the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
She therefore called on all Nigerians, the private sector, NGOs, International development organizations and all stakeholders to join DEPOWA in the campaign to actualise the Armed Forces PTSD Centre.