By Vanessa Obioha
Amani Health, a leading teletherapy company has unveiled a new campaign that seeks to help students understand and improve their mental health. The campaign ‘Speak Up Now’ seeks to encourage students in secondary schools to talk about their mental well-being; either behavioural, psychological or social wellness.
Given the conservative society we live in, most parents shy away from talking about their child’s mental health challenges. As such, some behavioral disorders are often overlooked and if not treated properly may lead to extreme cases. Amani Health seeks to change mindsets with the ‘Speak Up Now’ campaign by encouraging parents to also talk about their personal mental well-being in order to help their wards.
“While Speak Up Now is targeted at students to talk about their mental health to their parents, it is also to create awareness for the parents too to speak out,” said Amani Health Co-founder, Fasuyi Oluwarotimi. “Parents have to open up. They should not keep silent and hide it under the term ‘It’s a family secret.’ When they talk about it, they can get advice from the counsellors, therapists, and psychologists on our platform.”
Oluwarotimi emphasized that creating awareness and education are at the core of the ‘Speak Up Now’ campaign.
“The goal of the “Speak Up Now” campaign is to educate, enlighten and help students develop an understanding of their emotional, behavioral, social, and psychological well-being and encourage them to prioritize their own mental well-being,” said the company.
The campaign will involve a series of interactive and engaging activities, workshops and events designed to educate and enlighten students about reducing societal stigma surrounding mental health, having healthy school-life balance, identifying negative behavioral patterns among children such as trauma, anxiety, abuse, suicide, social isolation, aggression, violence, stress, neglect, domestic violence, bullying, peer influence, academic challenges, etc. and how they can seek help if needed.
Amani Health intends to work with schools in Lagos, at least twice in a term during the campaign. They are working with the Lagos State Government to help achieve this aim.
Founded by Oluwarotimi and his wife Ayodele Fasuyi, Amani Health was born out of a need to help children from ages 6-17 with their mental health challenges. According to Fasuyi, the inspiration to set up the digital therapy company started in 2020, during the COVID lockdown period.
“We had teenagers in the house who told us scary stories about how some of their classmates took their lives.”
Stories of teenage suicide are gradually becoming copious in our society despite being underreported. The couple set up the digital platform that has various therapists, counsellors, and psychologists working with them. Parents sign up their children on the platform and are mostly present during the session, particularly for underaged children. Depending on the extremity of the case, the affected child may require a physical examination.