Highlights from Anti-Suicide and Depression Squad: Mental Health Speaks Conference (4), September 11th, 2022.

Highlights from Anti-Suicide and Depression Squad: Mental Health Speaks Conference (4), September 11th, 2022.

 

After a major mental health relapse in her final year at the University, Precious was admitted for treatment on one-month bed rest.

When discharged, she was reluctant to go home because of a craving for a different environment that would enhance her recovery process.
According to her, a kind friend she met at the University, spoke with her parents and they allowed her to stay with them until she felt better.Precious’ story, reminds us that with love, support and professional treatment, a mentally ill person can live a full life. It reminds us that we all have a part to play in ensuring that mental health is a priority.
The question is,
what role will you play?
What can you do to make life better for the mentally ill?
Can you identify if a person is having a nervous breakdown without being judgmental?
Will you be willing to love them regardless?
Can the mentally ill person who has recovered be gainfully employed or empowered?
As a not-for-profit organization that is passionate about positive mental health awareness and intervention, the I Dare To Blossom Foundation believes that we all are stakeholders in the promotion of mental health in Nigeria and so we need to synergize regardless of our unique differences to normalize mental health conversations, solutions, and awareness.
Beyond policy formation and enforcement, partnerships, and workspace awareness as noted by Dr. Oyelami David Ogunride, we believe that with love, support, and professional help, the mentally ill person can live a full life.
It’s remarkable to note that even within professional medical practice, as affirmed by Dr. Olujumoke Oke, doctors who work with a high index of suspicion, tend to get more details that enhance the treatment of the mentally ill. Yet the embarrassing reality is that there is a brain drain and it seems as if the Nigerian Doctors are being trained for the western countries due to the poor infrastructure and welfare of medical professionals currently.
Barrister Praise Ogabi, emphasized ‘patient-focused treatment’ as a way of promoting mental health in Nigeria.
According to Mrs. Chioma Fakorede, founder of Olammacares Foundation,
Telemedicine, reaching out to rural communities, and bridging the communication gap by speaking in local languages, are some of the ways Olammacares promotes mental health in Nigeria.

Mercy Frank, the moderator of the second session: ‘Promotion of Mental Health in Nigeria through a working synergy with relevant stakeholders’, did an excellent job of keeping the conversation on track and getting the relevant information from the speakers.

When asked, ‘Do you think that mentally ill persons get enough support?’

Precious Avwunuma Emodamori, the pioneer of the I Dare To Blossom Foundation, noted that the first source of support should be family.

The family of the mentally ill should seek to understand how mental illness affects their loved ones and find ways to help.
In absence of the family, everyone should look out for each other and find ways to help like the family she spoke about in her story. Precious affirmed that we all have something to offer in terms of support. It could be time, funds, inspiration, kind words, etc…
Special thanks to the Anti-Suicide & Depression Squad and all the sponsors of the ‘Mental Health Speaks 4’ Conference, September 11th, 2022.

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