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Awareness, accessibility and utilization of mental health care services among youths in Lagos State, Nigeria 

 Ahimie, B.

Senior lecturer, University of Lagos


Mental health diseases or illnesses in all human beings especially youths in the prime of their lives, are crucial and worthy of attention. This is a crucial epidemiology that should be of prime concern because mental health issues among youths appear to be increasing. This paper seeks to investigate the level of awareness, accessibility and utilization of mental health services (provided by professional counsellors) among working class youths in Lagos state. A descriptive survey research design was adopted for the study with a random sample of 613 comprising 464 female and 149 male young workers. A questionnaire constructed by the researcher was used to gather data from respondents. Three research questions were raised and four hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. Data gathered were analyzed and presented using figures, simple percentages, frequency tables and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). The findings revealed that 96.2% of respondents are aware of mental health services, 64.2% have access to mental health service, however 26.4% actually utilize mental health services from professional counsellors. A significant gender difference was observed in the level of awareness and utilization of mental health services. There is also a significant difference in the level of awareness and utilization of mental health services due to age of respondents. Recommendations include the introduction of courses into junior school curriculum for early exposure of young people to signs and symptoms mental health problems. To also expose them to the importance of seeking assistance from professional counsellors who are trained to render such assistance.

Key words: Mental health services, Professional counsellors, Youths, Awareness, Accessibility, Utilization.   

Cite this article

APA 7th Edition

Ahimie, B. (2023). Awareness, accessibility and utilization of mental health care services among youths in Lagos State, Nigeria. Shodh Sari-An International Multidisciplinary Journal, 02(02), 99–118.

MLA 9th Edition

Ahimie, Bukola. “Awareness, Accessibility and Utilization of Mental Health Care Services Among Youths in Lagos State, Nigeria.” Shodh Sari-An International Multidisciplinary Journal, vol. 02, no. 02, Apr. 2023, pp. 99–118.


Chicago Style

Ahimie, Bukola. “Awareness, Accessibility and Utilization of Mental Health Care Services among Youths in Lagos State, Nigeria.” Shodh Sari-An International Multidisciplinary Journal 02, no. 02 (April 18, 2023): 99–118.

Impact statement

The issue of Mental health and wellbeing is a source of concern in Nigeria especially among the young people. Nigeria is one of the countries with the largest population of youths. Out of over 217 million people in Nigeria, 151 million (70%) are youths (Worldometer, 2022). Studies, workshops, seminars, conferences have been organized and are still being organized to create awareness for youths to access mental health services in Nigeria. More efforts have been made since 2006 till date to continue creating awareness on how to access mental health services from professional counsellors and therapists. This is being done in junior and senior schools, tertiary institutions and in particular, workplaces. It is hoped that youths and even the population in general will get to be more aware of ways to access and utilize mental healthcare services to address the diverse problems that are associated with
everyday living.


About The Author

Bukola Ahimie (Ph. D) is a Senior lecturer in the Department of Educational Foundations, Faculty of Education, University of Lagos. She has a B. Ed in Adult Education from the University of Benin, an M. Ed and a Ph. D in Guidance and Counselling from the University of Lagos. She is a member of Association of Professional Counsellors in Nigeria (APROCON); British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP); American Counselling Association (ACA) Employee Assistance Professional Association (EAPA); Organization for Women in Science for Developing World (OWSD); Forum for African Women Educationalists in Nigeria (FAWEN) and International Council for Education, Research and Training (ICERT). Over the years, she has been involved in the teaching of the following courses at the undergraduate and post graduate levels: Development of Guidance and Counselling in Nigeria; Human behaviour in organizations; Rehabilitation counselling; Multicultural Counselling; Practicum in Guidance and Counselling (Theory); Guidance and Counselling for teachers; Sexuality and marital counselling; Non testing assessment techniques; as well as the supervision of Guidanceand Counselling practicum exercise. She was a member of the Faculty of Education, University ofLagos Teaching Practice committee. She is currently a member of the team that provide Campus- wide counselling for staff and students, member of the post graduate diploma in education committee and the current coordinator of Departmental counselling practicum exercise. She is a counselling consultant with Aseg Professional Counselling services, a counselling outfit in Lagos, Nigeria. She has supervised over 100 undergraduate research projects, over 60 graduate research projects and currently supervising 4 PhD theses. She has published over 25 articles in both national
and international journals.



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Accepted on March 26, 202

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