When you see a man dressed in rags, covered in dirt with matted hair, what comes to your mind? A mad man.

However, madness is not the only mental disorder there is. There is depression, stress, hallucination, schizophrenia, PTSD etc., some of which could lead to madness or even suicide.

Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual recognizes his or her own abilities, is able to cope with everyday stresses, can work productively, and can contribute to his or her community.

Mental health is critical to our collective and individual ability as humans to think, emote, interact with one another, earn a living, and have fun. As a result, the promotion, protection, and restoration of mental health can be regarded as a critical concern of individuals, communities, and societies all over the world.

One in every seven people (11-18 percent) worldwide suffers from one or more mental or substance use disorders. This means that approximately one billion people worldwide experienced one in 2017. Anxiety disorders affected the greatest number of people, estimated to be around 4% of the population. According to the latest National Bureau of Statistics data, one in every four Nigerians, or an average of 50 million people, suffers from mental illnesses in a country with a population of 206 million.

Having seen the recent onslaught of mental disorders among young people which has led to countless suicides, Precious Idahor decided to organise a workshop on “Depression, Stress and Suicide Awareness” under the umbrella of DO-Take Action. Precious is an Accounting graduate from the University of Benin; she puts her degree to use as an Internal Auditor at Pal Pensions. A Certified Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistics Programming, Performance consultant Result coach, Precious runs a coaching firm known as PI Coaching and Resource Centre and is also the convener of SHERO Hangout, and Women of Great Minds and Virtue. Aside from being a social entrepreneur/impact analyst, public speaker, she is an Amazon best-selling author of two books.

Being a Mental Health Practitioner and Psychotherapist at the Mental Health Mall, Precious saw the need to sensitise her community on mental health. She hosted the project virtually with over 150 participants in attendance. The details of the project entail:

  • 2 keynote presentations on ‘How to handle stress’ and ‘mental health hacks and how to handle depression
  • 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
  • The participants took the Depression, Stress and Suicide Awareness test online

In the course of the project, a minimum of 157 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 above average on the Depression, Stress and Suicide Awareness test and now know how to get help and how to treat those experiencing mental disorders. The participants pledged to advocate for mental health issues within their community, and 10 GDCs were recruited from the participants to organize a depression, stress and suicide outreach program in their community.

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

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