On 31 October, Commonwealth Alumni in Lagos, Nigeria, attended a panel discussion on the challenges facing mental healthcare in Nigeria. The panel was comprised of speakers representing the health care sector, including representatives from the Lagos State Ministry of Health, National Orientation Agency and Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital.  

Welcome remarks were delivered by Chikodi Onyemerela, Director Programmes, British Council Nigeria. He highlighted that a lot of people with mental health conditions in Nigeria face stigma and discrimination and that there are limited mental healthcare facilities available to provide support. He then opened the panel discussion. 


  • Dr Tolu Ajomale, Assistant Director and Head of Special Projects and Mental Health, Lagos State Ministry of Health   
  • Sylvia Chibogu Amakom, Deputy Director (Programmes) National Orientation Agency, Lagos  
  • Dr Adedotun Ajiboye (2006 Commonwealth Shared Scholar), Clinical Psychologist, Ekiti State University Teaching University, Ado- Ekiti   
  • Dr Pamela Miller (2021 Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholar), General Physician Nizamiye Turkish Hospital  
  • On yindamola Arogundade, Mental Health Advocate 

Panellists discussed the important role of media and media influences in driving mental health advocacy and the need to focus on creating more awareness on mental health and well-being. It was proposed that mental health should be included in school curriculums, as well as included in health insurance schemes and standard services. Challenges regarding the shortage of trained mental health workers to identify early mental health challenges and refer patients to treatment, as well as access to treatment were also raised. 

The discussion was followed by a Q&A and closing remarks.