Grief and sadness are common human emotions. We all get those sentiments now and then, but they normally pass in a few days. However, depression, often known as depressive disorders, is more than that. It’s a diagnosable mood disorder that can cause long-term symptoms like intense melancholy, low energy, loss of appetite, and a lack of interest in activities that used to make you happy.

Depression is distinct from normal mood swings and short-term emotional responses to ordinary difficulties. Depression can be dangerous to one’s health, especially if it is persistent and has a moderate or severe intensity. It can make the individual who is affected suffer severely and perform poorly at their job, school, and in the family. Depression can lead to suicide in the worst-case scenario. 

According to new research by the World Health Organization (WHO), one person commits suicide every 40 seconds over the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Nigeria had the highest suicide rate among African countries in 2016, with over 17,000 people dying by suicide. Nigeria is the world’s most stressful country, according to Bloomberg. According to World Health Organization (WHO) statistics, one out of every four Nigerians, or 50 million individuals, suffers from mental illness.

Having seen the recent onslaught of suicide amongst young people, especially students in universities, Onyekachi Obiora Emmanuel decided to organise a workshop “Depression, Stress and Suicide Awareness” under the umbrella of DO-Take Action.

36-year-old Onyekachi is a practising Health and Safety Professional with Julius Berger Nigeria Plc in Abuja. He is passionate about growth, both on an individual and collective level. He likes seeing people succeed in his community. 

However, he understood that depression, stress and suicide can hamper people’s effectiveness, success and happiness. He carried out the project under Good Health and Well-being program; a DO program that addresses key challenges in the health care sector by carrying out advocacy campaigns, health outreaches, capacity building workshops and community infrastructure projects that will ultimately improve the quality of health care and impact at least 10 million Nigerians over the next 10 years.

He carried out the Project at Angwan Rogo, Idu Industrial Layout, Abuja (beside Nile University area), and it entailed the following: 

  • A group discussion on depression, stress and suicide, how to get help and how to treat those experiencing it with love and care.
  • An interactive Q/A session where the participants asked questions and were given informed answers
  • A comment and testimonies session where participants shared their experiences

In the course of the project, a minimum of 10 participants were sensitized to mental health issues (Depression, Stress, Suicide). 70% of participants pledged to support and commit to advocating for mental health issues in the community. A minimum of 70% of participants scored 100% on the Depression, Stress and Suicide Awareness test and now know how to get help and how to treat those experiencing mental disorders. 5 participants pledged to advocate for mental health issues within their community. 5 GDCs were recruited from the participants to organize a depression, stress and suicide outreach program in their community.

Onyekachi has contributed his quota to making his community saner and healthier. What contributions are you pioneering in your community? 

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