ReGen Development Foundation (ReGen) a not-for-profit initiative has concluded plans to provide platforms for young people to be heard, understood and supported to accomplish their dreams by addressing their mental health issues.
According to Tosin Ibrahim, a communication consultant and counsellor at ReGen Development Foundation the event is slated for Friday, December 16, 2022 at Eagle Wings Nursery and Primary School in Bariga, Lagos State.
“We seek to provide 24/7 counselling, provide one-on-one and group counselling sessions, training for parents and guardians and invest more in the mental well-being of children to maximise their potential to live wholesome and happy lives.”
Ibrahim revealed that mental health is an important part of children’s overall health and well-being. This, she said includes mental, emotional, and behavioural well-being which defines how children think, feel, and act.
“This determines how well children handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices,” she noted.
UNICEF study in 2021 reveals that “young people in Nigeria are facing a mental health challenge, with 1 in 6 young Nigerians aged 15 to 24 saying they often feel depressed, have little interest in doing things, or are worried, nervous or anxious.”
The study also reveals that children and young people in Nigeria clearly have a high level of concern about many and varied issues, compared to their peers in other countries.
Besides, the study unveiled that parents, teachers and guardians often lack the skills to help children with behavioural deficiencies. Hence, schools are becoming more toxic than ever before and therefore the need for urgency to provide a safe space for children to speak comfortably, and teach children of school age how to protect their minds and not to become bullies themselves.
The organisation also has other programmes line-up to commemorate its five years anniversary such as investing in the educational advancement of the next generation and equipping them for the future and creating positive media content for children and young adults, among others.
Speaking on the need to monitor and regulate media content for children, Ibrahim reiterated that the influence of the media on the psychosocial development of children has long been a subject of discussion the world over.
“It is important for parents, teachers and caregivers to discuss exposure to media and provide guidance on age-appropriate use of all media, including television, radio, music, video games and the internet.
“However, a real problem that is yet to be adequately addressed is the inability to provide healthy alternatives that are of equal quality to the harmful content children currently consume. We seek to produce television shows, documentaries, animations, books, and events to directly address this challenge,” she said.
She furthermore highlighted many of the organisation’s milestone achievements.
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“In May 2017 we launched a virtual personal development training programme for young university students, in December 2017 we launched outreach initiatives to vulnerable children and young adults, and in August 2018 launched prison outreach to young inmates in Ikoyi Prison to provide legal aid, personal care items, counselling, and mental health support. We have also provided relief materials in cases of emergencies or natural disasters, accident victims such as the building collapse in Ita Faji, Lagos Island,” she stated.
She reaffirmed the organisation’s commitment to its vision, embracing growth, and building better structures around its work while scaling its interventions to be more impactful and sustainable.
“Our team has grown and from only one person, we now have twenty professionals who bring their experiences from various fields of endeavour and who share a common interest in creating a better outcome for the next generation,” she said.
Moreover, she said, “In this decade of action, ReGen is committed to taking measurable actions towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 4 – to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
“In April 2022, we launched ReGen Adopt-A-School Initiative (ADASI) with Eagle Wings Nursery and Primary School Bariga as our first beneficiary; and we plan to expand to other communities in Lagos and across Nigeria. Eagle Wings was established in 2007 by the Hands at Work Organisation to support orphans and vulnerable children in the community.
“The single classroom school structure” currently has 150 children between the age of 5 and 14, who hold various classes simultaneously in a single class. The situation is deplorable, and we are committed to ensuring they enjoy equitable quality education and better infrastructure.”