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A PHENOMENON ON MENTAL HEALTH AS A CHALLENGE TO YOUTH DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA AND ITS COUNSELING IMPLICATIONS

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Mental health is a health issue that is in circulation, specifically among Nigerian youths. The information on the abnormal behavior has been given as one of the biggest issues facing every country, of which Nigeria and the young people are not an exception of both the challenges and the risks. It has been reported that the issue of mental health are now common in youths, with an estimate of one in five facing some form of emotional disorder. Previous research works showed that 50% of all lifelong mental health problems start from the age 14 and 75% by age 24. Irrespective of the development evidence of the need of mental health to make sure economic, social and human capital, negative perceptions proceed to be linked with mental health disorders and the related mental health services and professionals. In our society, we see the mentally disordered people as the people that cannot be employed by any organization, as people who cannot maintain any job, depend on themselves and as those who have no hope of survival. This is a misconception, and it can have influence on individuals living with the disorders which can result in poor follow-up care and recovery, and further worsens the stigma and discrimination. It has been proven that medical forecast of doctor’s judgment for mental health disorders can enhance through early detection and treatment. Resolving the problem of discrimination and stigma needs to occur both formally and informally, especially among children and young adults, some of whom will one day require making use of such services. Okeke opined that orienting or informing young people in and out of secondary schools about mental health disorders and ways to prevent it, not only affects their understanding of mental health but that their family, friends and neighbors. Furthermore, schemes introduced for the purpose of increasing young people’s knowledge of mental health through contact and education have given positive outcomes in minimizing negative attitudes towards people with such challenges. Previous studies showed that unfair feelings about mental health disorders or its victims was majorly because of ignorance, and that people who are well informed about such disorders are less likely to endorse negative attitude. Another study also showed that members of the public who have contact with a victim of mental disorder are less likely to endorse stigmatizing attitudes. For this reason, education is a powerful tool for growing and solidifying knowledge and minimizing unwanted or displeasing attitudes towards mental health disorders and the victims. Research on youth perceptions of mental health disorders show positive changes after exposure to educational programs. Studies on awareness and education about mental health disorders in teenagers showed that there is a significant reduction of stigma after gaining new information about such conditions. Another study on changing attitude of high school students towards peer with mental health disorders showed positive changes in their attitudes, and also that discrimination and the tendency towards social restriction were minimized six months after an attitudinal change program was introduced. Also, short educational workshops gave rise to a positive change in youths perceptions of mental health disorders. For this reason, there is an inadequacy of research in some regions of Nigeria considering creating awareness and attitudes of youths towards mental health disorders. This study aims to find out the impact mental health challenge has on youth development in Nigeria.

STATEMENT OF THE GENERAL PROBLEM

The poor development of the Nigerian youth physically, educationally, socially and mentally has been a source of concern for the nation considering the fact that these youths are the leaders of tomorrow. The mental state of most youths has precipitated to poor educational development and has also been muted to be the fundamental challenge to youth development and advancement in all areas of life. The major implication of the problem on the Nigerian youth is propensity of making disastrous decisions as a result of poor mental health which would naturally making counseling efforts by guardian and teachers futile.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The major objectives of the study are to examine mental health as a challenge to youth development and its implications on counseling. Other specific objectives of the study include;

1.    To examine the state of mental health of youths.

2.    To determine the importance of youth development on nation building.

3.    To assess the benefit of counseling to youth development.

4.    To examine the factors affecting mental health of youths in Nigeria.

5.    To determine the impact of mental health on youth development and counseling.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

1.    What is the state of mental health of youths?

2.    What is the importance of youth development on nation building?

3.    What are the benefits of counseling to youth development?

4.    What are the factors affecting mental health of youths in Nigeria?

5.    What is the impact of mental health on youth development and counseling?

RESERCH HYPOTHESIS

H0: Mental health does not have a significant impact on youth development and counseling.

H1: Mental health has a significant impact on youth development and counseling.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The study would be of immense benefit to educational sector, the Nigerian public and the general public as it attempts to unravel the impact of mental health on youth development and counseling. The study would also benefit students, researchers and scholars who are interested in developing further study on the subject matter.

SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The study is restricted to mental health as a challenge to youth development and its implication on counseling using ….. as a case study.

LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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