The webinar, facilitated by Silver Lining For the Needy Initiative (SLNI), on the 10th of October 2023 served as a platform to explore the integral concept of mental health as a universal human right. Lois Dabit Emmanuel, the moderator, commenced the event by warmly welcoming attendees not only from Nigeria but from across the globe, underscoring the importance of global participation in discussions on mental health.
1. Promote Understanding, Education, and Dialogue: To encourage open and informed discussions to enhance understanding and awareness of mental health issues.
2. Raise Awareness: To advocate for broader public awareness and comprehension of various mental health issues.
3. Improve Accessibility to Resources and Support: To ensure better access to mental health resources and support systems.
4. Reduce Stigma: To actively work on reducing the stigma associated with mental health challenges.
Lois elaborated eloquently on the intricate nature of mental health, defining it as a state of mental well-being that allows individuals to cope with the various stresses and challenges of life effectively.
SESSION FOR SPEAKERS:
The webinar hosted three distinguished speakers, each bringing unique expertise and experience to the discussion:
1. Alice Tony: A specialist in behavioral therapy, currently pursuing a Master’s program at Tarleton State University, Texas, having obtained her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Central Oklahoma, USA.
2. Ogenyi Isaac Agbo: An esteemed professional known for his diverse roles across different organizations, specializing in psychology and extending mental health support.
3. Faith Emmanuel: The esteemed founder of FEGIGLOBAL, an NGO committed to empowering young women through mindset-oriented programs, including the annual Girl Child Conferences and the impactful Valentine with Girls events, providing invaluable opportunities for Nigerian youth to learn from experts and broaden their horizons.
1. Factors Hindering Mental Health Service Access: Alice Tony delved into the barriers hampering access to mental health services, emphasizing the detrimental impact of lack of awareness and ignorance. She proposed comprehensive solutions such as community outreach programs to bridge this gap effectively.
2. Impact of Social Stigma: Isaac illuminated the prevalent social stigma surrounding mental health services in Nigeria. He underlined the prevailing perception that seeking mental health services equates to being ‘mad’ and highlighted the urgent need for targeted awareness campaigns to dismantle this misconception.
RESOURCES AND SUPPORT:
Faith Emmanuel contributed to the webinar by introducing significant resources aimed at supporting mental health. Notably, she highlighted the “kalmerry” app designed to combat gender-based violence and the “Better Health” website, offering essential mental health therapy services.
Lois Dabit Emmanuel, in her closing address, extended sincere appreciation for the active participation of the attendees and expressed gratitude to the esteemed presenters for their profound insights and valuable contributions. She emphasized the importance of continuing such conversations and actions to further advocate for mental health rights.
-Advocating for robust awareness campaigns to combat the social stigma surrounding mental health.
-Strengthening community-based initiatives to disseminate knowledge and understanding about mental health.
-Encouraging increased collaboration between NGOs and governmental bodies to improve mental health services.
The webinar served as a critical platform for thought-provoking discourse, shedding light on the imperative issue of mental health as an unequivocal human right. The engaging dialogue, spearheaded by distinguished speakers and actively involved attendees, presented profound insights and emphasized the urgency of creating awareness, reducing stigma, and enhancing accessibility to mental health services