In efforts to create mental health awareness in Africa, a consultant Neuro-Psychiatrist, Psychotherapist & Mental Health Advocate, Dr Maymunah Kadiri has launched a short film, health App and online health radio to render psychological, emotional and mental health services.
Dr Kadiri who is also the Medical Director of Pinnacle Medical Services, Lagos said, 1 in every 4 persons in Nigeria will develop mental health problem in his life-time, adding that about 64 million Nigerians have one form of depression or the other.
According to her, poverty, child abuse, broken homes and broken marriages, financial problems, traumatic experiences, put one at risk of developing mental illness.
Speaking at a press briefing heralding the premiere of the short film, health App and health radio, Kadiri said, “the film titled ‘Pepper soup’ is a true life story of a religious young man working in a financial institution who doesn’t engage in smoking or drinking but at a point was behaving irrationally and was admitted into the hospital. Further investigations about him showed that there something strange in him and he was shouting Pepper soup when he woke up.
“This shows how people can get mentally unstable by eating in random places because of the substances in the food they eat.”
She said the online health radio will deliver health solutions to Nigerians to promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which borders on good health and wellbeing. .
“We are not taking away the job of medical doctors but we’re offering first aid to Nigerians and direct them to the appropriate private or government hospital. We have on board over 2000 hospitals in Lagos because Lagos is like a pilot study for us even though, we are worldwide.”
The mental health advocate said, the mental health App is to help everyone check their mental wellbeing before taking any irrational decision.
She urged everyone to “download the app, use the app, share your personal experiences on mental health issues, encourage friends and family members to download, use the app and share their experiences, incorporate mental health into your regular health check-ups, just like going to the dentist.”
With less than 200 qualified psychiatrists for a 180 million Nigerians, “this means we have 1 per 1 million as compared to 1 per 10 thousand in the UK, there is a need to aid in the accessibility of self-tests, that help to measure the healthy state of mind,” Kadiri said.
Also speaking at the briefing, former Director General of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mrs Roli Bode-George urged people to always speak out on their mental status.
“People always shy away from mental health because of the stigmatisation. We need not stigmatise people who need support and that is why we need to emphasis on famili and community support system”
President, Association of Movie Producers, Ralph Nwadike said, the movie-peppersoup, will educate people on mental health “because someone somewhere is being addicted to something even Panadol and there’s need for awareness.”