World Mental Health Day: Promoting Mental Health Awareness in Nigeria
BY EMMANUEL CHIDERA AMOKE
On average, mental health issues affect more than 40 to 45 percent of Nigerians, with over 60 percent of young adults experiencing these challenges. Shockingly, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 75 percent of those affected do not receive the necessary treatment.
In Nigeria, mental health problems are often not taken as seriously as they should be, and awareness remains inadequate. Many Nigerians harbor misconceptions, associating therapy solely with severe mental disorders, which hinders widespread access to available therapists in the country.
Mental health is a pressing concern, especially given the increasing economic challenges that continue to push many, particularly emerging adults, into these problems daily. These mental health problems encompass a wide spectrum, from depression and anxiety to bipolar disorder, addiction, phobias, and various conditions affecting thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
Here are some suggestions and steps to help address these conditions:
Acknowledge Your Feelings:
When you begin to experience mental discomfort, take the time to identify your emotions and their potential causes. It’s crucial to accept your feelings rather than suppressing or ignoring them. Identifying both the mental condition and its roots is a significant step toward recovery.
Challenge Unhelpful Thoughts
If by identifying the cause of your mental and emotional distress, you notice they are as a result of negative thoughts, go on to further identify the exact thought; notice what you’re thinking and how it makes you feel; Evaluate the thought, if it’s based on facts, or if it’s a distortion; Reframe the thought. Challenge the negative thought by replacing it with a more positive, accurate, and helpful thought; Visualize the outcome by imagine how you will feel once you successfully challenge the negative thought.
While access to psychological therapists may be limited, learning how to talk to someone about your struggles is essential. Online therapists, both Nigerian and international, are available for consultation, and there are also non-governmental organizations like the Mentally Aware Nigerian Initiative (MANI), The Human Development Initiative, Nigerian Suicide Prevention Hotline, SURPIN Helpline Nigeria, among others, that offer assistance. If reaching out to experts seems daunting, confiding in someone you trust, even a stranger, can be beneficial.
Address Underlying Factors:
In some cases, biological factors or underlying medical conditions can significantly impact mental health. Focus on treating these physical health issues when they contribute to mental health challenges. Additionally, recognizing stress as a contributor and taking adequate rest is crucial.
Consider making lifestyle changes that promote wellness. This may involve reducing alcohol consumption, ensuring sufficient sleep, and maintaining a balanced diet. Taking breaks from work or resolving personal relationship issues that negatively affect mental health can also be beneficial.
Nurture Meaningful Relationships:
Building strong and supportive relationships with friends, family, and colleagues can reduce stress and improve your overall health. Connecting with others provides opportunities to share experiences, learn from each other, and offer support during difficult times. Consider setting aside time each week to connect with a friend or family member, or joining a group that shares your interests.
In conclusion, it’s vital for all of us to look out for each other. Recognize potential signs of mental health disorders in those around you, such as withdrawal from social activities, changes in sleep or eating patterns, persistent feelings of hopelessness, and more severe signs like self-harm or hearing voices. By being compassionate and vigilant, we can collectively work toward improving mental health awareness and support in Nigeria.
Follow Our Activities On Facebook
22 hours ago
23 hours ago
1 day ago
#BigBrotherNaija “Level Up” Week 6
Though last Sunday Sunday was meant to be a “no-eviction” day, it came as a shocker when fake housemate, Modella…
Dating in 2022; Situationships Are Not For The Fainthearted
Situationships are defined as that space between a defined relationship and something other than a friendship. It is a romantic…
20 Questions With Dinta Media’s Visual Storyteller, Chimeremogo Nwoke
Dinta Media is not really just a media production brand but we like to see ourselves as a hub for…
How Are Nigeria’s Small Businesses Coping?
The current rising rate of inflation and other burdens against the Nigerian economy speaks to the realities of the times.
Thrifting Is All The Rave Now, Here’s Why
By Amy Adindu The affordable clothing movement has gained global attention and acceptance as we’re all trying to look like…
#BigBrotherNaija “Level Up” Week 2
Week 2 of the highly watched Nigerian TV show kicked off with an early plot twist. On Sunday, Big Brother…
#BlueTunes: Burna Boy, Omah Lay Top Album Picks For July
July was a promising month for music lovers; from Lizzo’s album titled Special and Imagine Dragons’ Mercury, (Acts 1 &…
#BlueTunes Album Picks For June
Gbagada Express – Boj Bolaji Odojukan, popularly known as BOJ, was raised both in England and Nigeria. He shot to…
“A Creative’s Dream” with Jeff Chinonso
On the 26th of June 2022, Jeff Chinonso hosted his first solo art exhibition. The Augmented Reality exhibition themed “A…
Nigerian API-based company Thepeer raises $2.1 million
Tech infrastructure startup Thepeer has raised a $2.1 million seed round according to a report from TechCabal. Thepeer, a Nigerian…
Dika Ofoma, Ugochukwu Onuoha take on grief in Debut Film “The Way Things Happen”
The twenty-minute film focuses on the loss of a loved one, and how grief changes a person.
Nigerian Startups might just be Crippled by a Recently Leaked bill
Over the years there has been talks of amendment on the 2007 Act of the National Information & Technology Agency (NITDA).
Why We Love Kelechi Amadi Obi
The definition of talent is Kelechi Amadi’s iconic story. Imagine a person who studies law in school, gets called to Bar, and leaves it all for something different and unrelated…Painting!