BusinessDay

Gbonjubola launches Mental Health Channel to boost advocacy

In a bid to prevent mental health disorders, while ensuring that persons with mental disorders are given the best attention to manage their health so that they can live their best lives, Gbonjubola Abiri, a Consultant Psychiatrist and Managerial Psychologist has launched a Mental Health Channel.

The channel, ‘Mental health with Dr G advocacy platform’ launched its newest project on the 10th of October which is World Mental Health Day.

Prior to now, the mental health advocate who is driven by the holistic view to health, said she and her team had used engaging and innovative ways to target and reach audience via videos, illustrative cartoons and posts to increase mental health awareness.

The platform, Mental Health TV with Dr G is to ensure continued conversations around matters bordering on mental health, from daily posts, cartoons, to talk shows, documentaries and interviews all informing and educating all and sundry irrespective of where they are in the world on all things mental health.

Read also: PanAfrican Capital Foundation promotes mental health agenda

The channel also encourages collaborative effort as it provides an avenue for other mental health professionals to put their content there.

She noted that the World Health Organisation reported that one in four persons at some point in their lives will have a mental health disorder.

“The socioeconomic conditions in Nigeria coupled with other factors such as stressful life, insecurity, uncertainty, trauma in different spheres of life, poor perception of mental health disorders and lack of access to healthcare put Nigerians at an increased risk for mental disorders.

“In spite of the enormity of the problem, mental health hasn’t received the attention it ought to even though that’s changing now and will yet change. We still have a lot of misinformation fueled by ignorance, lack of information, and wrong information, stigma associated with mental health issues and discrimination.

“Many Nigerians are also influenced to a large degree by cultural and religious beliefs which reinforce the stereotypes about mental health conditions and the persons who suffer from it,” Abiri explained.

Research show that overall, rates of psychiatric disorders are almost identical for men and women but striking gender differences are found in the patterns of mental illness.

The many roles that women occupy as carers , nurturers, career women and much more put them in a position where they care for everyone but themselves thus placing them at risk of coming down with mental illnesses.

Experts say this is why there should be more awareness amongst the women folk and men as well so that women can care for themselves more and men can be more understanding and supportive as they all work towards ensuring optimal mental health.

“Mental health is everyone’s business as mental illnesses are no respecter of gender, age, race, educational status, socio-economic status or even religion. It is too important to be left to the professionals alone. Everyone in society must seek to know more about mental health.”

Gbonjubola Abiri is also the Medical Director of Tranquil and Quest Behavioral health, Lagos.

Abiri who is the Director, Women’s Mental Health at the ASIDO Foundation, recently pioneered Nigeria’s first, one of a kind, Mental Health Advocacy Digital Network – ‘Mental Health TV with Dr G’ on YouTube.

She is a Fellow of the West Africa College of Physicians (WACP), a member of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), the Employee Assistance Professional Association (EAPA) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

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