Continuing its sustained efforts to raise awareness and sensitize the public on health-related issues, Nigeria’s benevolent telecommunications brand, 9mobile, held its fifth edition of its series of health conferences with the theme of discussion on mental health; the myth, the challenge and the recovery.
The session which was streamed live on the @healthertainer Instagram handle, and featured Africa’s leading mental health advocate and coach, Dr Maymunah Yusuf Kadiri as a facilitator.
In her presentation, she highlighted the myths surrounding mental health issues and, more importantly, what the recovery process involves, describing mental health as the ability to be productive, successful and able to give back to society. .
While dispelling some of the myths, she pointed out that mental illness has no spiritual connotation because people are made to believe particularly in our climate. According to her, mental health belongs to the category of non-communicable diseases.
She noted that one in five people in Nigeria suffer from mental illness, with data showing that mental illness begins before the age of 14 in some cases. “Everyone has mental health, but not everyone has mental illness, which is a medical condition so to speak. So it will be correct to conclude that no one is immune to mental health disorders,” she said.
Listing some of the stressors that could trigger mental illness, she said: “Some of the risk vulnerability factors include; death of a parent or loved ones, divorce in families, domestic violence, positive history of mental illness and of course, societal pressure, which can be attributed to the harsh socio-economic realities of the country.
She concluded with a strong call for early intervention stating that “it is important to appreciate that mental illness is real and therefore to look for ways to overcome the challenges rather than live in self-denial. There is good news and bad news about mental illness: the good news is that it is surmountable, treatable and manageable with readily available help for a quick recovery. While the bad news is that the longer it takes to seek medical help, the more complicated it can become.
Commenting on the session, Chineze Amanfo, Executive Director, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, 9mobile, Abdulrahman Ado, who was represented by 9mobile’s PR Manager, reiterated that mental health issues should be addressed. greater attention, especially among the productive population.
He said: “Mental health is a critical issue that needs attention. 9mobile will continue to bring the issue to the fore to promote a healthier and safer society for all. Therefore, we are delighted that the 2022 Health Talk Series has kicked off on a very impactful note, with a focus on mental well-being which is paramount for optimal productivity. This is one of the reasons why we are focusing on health as one of our corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategic pillars”.