This hospital is dedicated to the memory of my late mother, Theresa Akpanna Ohaeri (nee Amuneke) (Nov. 1931 – Nov 2001), for three reasons. First, right from when I became self – conscious at about 4 or 5 years of age, she fondly called me: “doctor”; and this was despite the fact that we had no medical doctor in our extended family, not even in my native town at the time, nor in the neighbourhood where we lived in Lagos. However, she did not put any other pressure on me to study medicine – it was my natural calling. Second, although she was illiterate, she was my first teacher in arithmetic. Third, she was my first mentor, making me to shoulder the responsibility of baby - sitting, first, for my junior brother, Emmanuel, and second for my junior sister, Ada Grace. As my father was an undergraduate at the University of Ibadan at the time, she practically taught me the ideals of team work, responsibility, hard work, discipline, and caring for others. I was the disciple and she was the Master, not in a magisterial sense, but in relating with a beloved child who was “di nneya” (Mummy’s husband).
The inspiration for founding this hospital was the deep felt need to provide a private sector forum for actualizing in Nigeria, the dreams that have borne the fruits like Johns Hopkins Hospital and Memorial Sloan – Kettering in the USA, namely, a private institution that would provide quality mental health care and be a forum for bringing together the best minds for doing research and training in the various fields of mental health. If this experiment is successful, it is hoped that we would become accredited for training resident doctors in psychiatry, be a partner for training clinical psychologists, and the research section would transit to: Theresa Ohaeri Memorial Institute of Molecular Psychiatry.
In the area of mental health care, I have been inspired by the ideals of promotion of mental health, through the practice of Mindfulness – Based Relaxation and Psychotherapy, Yoga Exercises; and Positive Psychology/ Psychiatry techniques, in individual/dyadic and group settings. Inclusive of these techniques, we shall answer the call to address the growing problem of drug addiction among our youth, by providing a forum for advancing focused models in the rehabilitation of people with addiction problems. We hope to create a forum where innovative people can try out novel psychotherapies and where techniques of addiction therapies can flourish in an evidence - based atmosphere.
We are also inspired by the need to provide a place for evidence-based mental health care practice, along the lines of international practice guidelines for the subspecialties of general adult psychiatry, old age psychiatry and child & adolescent psychiatry. To be a private sector partner for achieving the national goals on promotion of mental health, evidence based mental health care, research in biological, epidemiological, and psychosocial aspects of psychiatry; and training of specialist workers.