Understanding the lack of awareness that generally surrounds mental health in Nigeria, Thryve Network, a mental health NGO is leading the charge in educating Nigerians on mental health issues.
Thryve is raising awareness with much focus on the dangers of stigmatization, which has proved to be one of the biggest barriers in preventing people experiencing mental illnesses from freely speaking and subsequently getting the help they need.
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Only recently, Thryve Network organised an outreach that aimed to educate Nigerian women, and men, too, on postpartum depression (PPD), which is a form of mental illness that women experience post-delivery.
In the throes of the condition, women find themselves in the dark, questioning why they don’t seem to want to hold, feed, or love their newborn. Some attendees admitted to being shamed for being unappreciative.
Oby Nnadi, the founding CEO, stressed that PPD is a condition that drowns sufferers in extreme sadness and anxiety and may trigger other forms of mental illnesses that may drag on for a considerable period post-childbirth.
Nnadi had experienced PPD in the past. According to her, the lack of awareness and sufficient information was what eventually sparked her interest, not only in the condition but in mental health. It had formed her interest and fuelled her passion for informing and educating Nigerians.
She is undoubtedly one of the country’s leading mental health campaigners. Thryve, formerly Love and Life International, has in the last five years, been consistent in driving awareness and also proffering vital self-help coping mechanisms.
This is to significantly lower the rising numbers of suicides that often ride on the back of underlying challenges, which consequently impair one’s mental health. In her view, education plays a leading role.
Nnadi has spoken at outreaches, schools, and churches, and addressed small groups in her quest to raise awareness. Known to her ardent listeners as “Radio Doctor,” she speaks on mental health-related matters on Thursdays on Wazobia FM 93.1 between 3-4 pm.
Ever pushing the frontiers of mental health, she writes a quarterly digest, “Oby’s Digest on Mental Health” which is downloadable from various digital book distribution platforms.