Mental Health Awareness Can Help Shape a Better Place in Nigeria

Do you know Nigerians could be living below the National Poverty Line in 2022? and 47.3% of Nigerians currently live in poverty incidence higher than most countries in Africa. It has become a worrying concern as one in four Nigerians suffer from mental illness.

Have you ever seen an individual lost in thoughts while working perhaps, talking to themselves while ignoring the environment? and you walk up to them and asked “Is Everything Okay” the answer you will probably get is “Yes Thank You”

I conducted a survey and found out companies, most small business owners, don’t offer to counsel regarding mental health awareness while few, from the minority offer treatment for people with mental illness.

What does mental health mean?

According to World Health Organization (WHO), “Mental Health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her abilities, can cope with the normal stress of life, can work productively and make a contribution to his or her community.”

In 2020, a Survey by the African Polling Institute (API) showed the awareness of mental health in Nigeria is low, as most individuals recognized it commonly as drug abuse, brain malfunction, and spiritual interventions. This idealogy has often prevented those who are suffering from the illness from seeking help.

With the covid-19 pandemic, the Statistic has shown the situation is not getting better. People are still suffering from the lockdown, which resulted in self-isolation and quarantines, inadequate information, infection fears, rising unemployment, and financial difficulties.

Frequently, I’ve found our society treating depression and anxiety as a character of weakness or a professional flaw, rather an illness that is diagnosable and treatable like any other physical condition. I’ve also found out the medical system can exceed the expectations providing steps to emotional well-being for the society by:

Reducing the stigma around mental illness

Encouraging steps to talk about mental illness is critical to improving the overall well-being of how its regarded. The more people who talk about it, the less harmful it is to society.

It increases the likelihood that those suffering from anxiety, depression, or Obsessive-Compulsive disorder will seek professional help to improve their health and learn how to encourage a healthy lifestyle to promote mental health.

Providing Benefits

Communities and Companies need to provide liberal time for mental illness to promote a healthy lifestyle.

Benefits can be provided in a variety of ways, such as volunteering, corporate donations, charitable contributions, and so on. It encourages the community and broadens the support network by exposing people to common interests, neighborhood resources, and fun and fulfilling activities.

A lot of events have taken place all around the world sometimes you want to take your mind off it by reducing the workload of the brain.

Providing resources and support

The feasible option is to provide health solutions through books, oral therapy, and digital form. Like reducing stigma, people become more informed as they begin to understand the importance of raising mental health awareness. 

Universities, schools, and business organizations can provide access to engaging programs such as seminars, club gatherings, and provide digital tools to keep society informed and updated.

Now is the time to act

A small gathering with strong social connections is healthier than a society that’s a lack support network.

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