Lagos State Ministry of Health in partnership with Sisterhood of Successful Women in Nigeria (SOSWIN), a non-governmental organization that is focused on borderline Personality Disorder (Mental Health) enlightment and advocacy is set to host the second edition of the bi-annual Mental Health Fair.
The event, which is scheduled for February 15th, 2020 will be held at the Igbobi College playing ground for 8am is expected to host over two thousand (2,000) participants including representatives of the government, traditional rulers, students, corporate organizations and others.
There will be plenary sessions which constitutes of panelisets who are certified clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, physical health coaches and industry leaders. There will be master class, group therapy counseling on emotional abuse, postpartum depression and substance abuse, Yoga, exhibitions, music, games, free medical check-up, master classes and many more.
In a statement issued by the organization, the convener Mental Health Fair, Simbiat Awe, disclosed that the major aim of SOSWIN is to raise African young leaders who will be able to better manage their emotions and become problem solvers, critical thinkers and social reformers in Nigeria and beyond.
She added that, ‘the dream for mental health Advocacy started in 2014 during her NYSC service, I started to exhibit more than the 5 traits of Borderline Personality Disorder which ruined interpersonal relationships and made me attempt suicide 3 times. I was subsequently diagnosed of BPD in 2017’.
The stigma of being tagged ’emotionally unstable’ and the state of hopelessness that comes with it geared me to build a foundation that will address this misdiagnosed medical condition and sensitize millions of youths who do not know that they are even suffering from this disorder. And because BPD is the only personality disorder to have suicidal or self-injurious behavior among its diagnostic criteria, I felt an urgent need to conduct intervention programs to change the mindset of the Nigerian youths and provide measures to cope with life stresses’.
One in four Nigerians suffer from mental illness but help is stiffened by tight budgets, lack of skilled personnel in Nigeria and the heightened level of stigmatization portrayed by citizens.
The Government, as the bedrock for creating policies and values that will lead the socio economic and health development plan in the country needs to intervene in this space and support organizations, NGOs, social enterprises that are focused on mental health in conducting more intervention programs to cause a change in the health care system.
Some of the partners that have signed-off include Lagos state Ministry of Health, Apoti Lagos, Join Nigeria, the mind and health centre, Brillar therapy, Career Life Nigeria, PSN Africa, VCR Stories, Volunteer hub Africa, BitFXT, Career Life Nigeria, Shenomics Africa, Yaba Psychiatric hospital and wellness coach, Maje Ayida.
The Mental Health fair is a Bi-annual project that will take place in February and October across all geopolitical zones in Nigeria. The organizational goal is to counsel and educate 50,000 young Africans on Borderline Personality Disorder through advocacy and empowerment before 2025.