Mental health is a major part of an individual’s life. It encompasses thoughts, feelings and actions. It projects into one’s social, emotional, health and all round well-being. Thus, it is an essential part of an individual to consider and make sound choices for.
According to WHO, over 215 million people live with mental health conditions in the Western Pacific (2023). As of 2019, major depressive disorders caused around 3.9 percent of all years lived with disability (YLDs) in Nigeria (Statista, 2022).
It is thus, without doubt that although being aware of one’s mental health is important, of more importance is the right to a standard mental health. A standard mental health would then include access and affordability of quality care, freedom of expression of mental state, and social inclusion. This is one of the major messages passed during the 2023 World Mental Health Day as the theme OUR MINDS, OUR RIGHTS was greatly emphasized.
One Health Committee (SDG 3) of The Sapphires Development Initiative in partnership with Ibadan Peace Club of Nigeria organized and held a webinar. This event which was held on to 13th of October 2023 was to commemorate the World Mental Health Day. The webinar which had over 65 individuals in attendance was aimed at ensuring that the message of a standard mental health is spread and according to its theme: ACTIONS FOR PROMOTING HEALTHY MINDS, techniques for having a healthy mental health is adequately communicated to youths and adolescents.
One major takeaway greatly emphasized by the participants was the SIMPLE acronym technique taught by the speaker, Olusola Akanni. She used this acronym to educate all present on the techniques to promote mental wellness amidst one’s day to day activities. According to her explanation, S stands for sleep well, I for – Involvement with others, M stands for- Mindfulness meditation, P for- Physically Active, L stands for- Learn to celebrate my little wins, and E for- embrace gratitude. Another highlight of the webinar was the 15 minutes guided meditation session led by the IBPCN secretary, Adeyinka Teriba. It was a great way to practice mindfulness meditation as Olusola mentioned.
Conclusively, contributing our quota to the overall quality of mental health, creating awareness was the goal of commemorating the World Mental Health Day. This goal was achieved, however, we see the need to reinforce efforts and further reduce the aforementioned statistics both globally and in Nigeria.
Again, it’s your right to prioritize your mental health! It’s your right to have access to standard mental healthcare!! it’s okay to speak up.