By Rebecca Ejifoma
As part of efforts to cushion the mental health impact of COVID-19 and curb the increasing rate of depression, Nigeria’s telecommunication company, 9mobile, will hold the maiden edition of a virtual health talk series today by 7pm.
With the theme, “COVID-19 and the new normal: Staying mentally healthy in the face of the challenges”, the session will be streamed live on the Instagram page of Instablog9ja.
It will feature rights advocate and Executive Director at She Writes Woman, Hausa Ojeifo. She is tagged the voice and face of mental health in Nigeria.
Ojeifo will discuss the concept and scope of mental health, signs, and symptoms, dealing with stigma and trauma associated with mental health, and when and where to get help.
Commenting on the initiative, the Executive Director, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, 9mobile, Abdulrahman Ado, remarked that mental health needs to be given top priority, especially in the face of the unprecedented loss, anxiety and disruption occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said, “As a business that cares about the wellbeing of its customers, it has become imperative for us to champion conversations around the issue of mental health, especially at a time when the world is going through one of the deadliest pandemics in history.
“COVID-19 has exacted such heavy toll and triggered a spike in stress and anxiety-induced depression in people.”
It is in light of this that 9mobile teamed up with Ojeifo to facilitate frank conversations around mental, emotional, and psychological health.
With the session, Ado hopes to empower Nigerians with the right information on how to respond effectively to issues surrounding mental health.
In his statement, “We also hope that this effort will play a significant role in cutting the number of suicide-related deaths resulting from depression, he added.”
While highlighting the company’s continued commitment to initiatives that drive positive change, Ado added that the health talk series aligns with 9mobile’s focus on health as one of its strategic pillars for social intervention.
According to findings by the World Health Organisation (WHO), an estimated one in eight Nigerians suffer from mental illness.
Anxiety is the most common mental illness. Ado warned, adding that experts believe that with more education and awareness around the issue, people will be informed on how best to manage their mental health and seek timely help where needed.