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Imam, experts offer tips against depression, mental health challenges

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By Haroon-Ishola Balogun

Various speakers at the Lekki Muslim Ummah, LEMU Quarterly Da’wah Workshop have offered several tips to avoid depression and other challenges of mental health.

*From left: The Chief Imam of Lekki Central Mosque, Shaykh Ridwan Jamiu, former Medical Director, Yaba Psychiatric Hospital, Dr. Idowu Malomo, and the President of the Lekki Muslim Ummah, LEMU, Dr. Kamoru Omotosho at the LEMU Quarterly Da’wah Workshop held in Lekki, Lagos, recently.

The Chief Imam of LEMU, Shaykh Ridwan Jamiu, Dr. Idowu Malomo, a foremost Psychiatrist and former Medical Director of Yaba Psychiatric Hospital; Hajia (Dr.) Mashudat Bello-AbdulMojeed, a Public Health Physician, Consultant Psychiatrist, as well as Barrister Habeeb Lawal, gave an insight into “Prophetic Medicine Solutions to Mental Health Issues”, adding that healthy living and stress-free lifestyles could help to maintain good mental health.

The quarterly dawah of LEMU, a regular programme of Lekki Muslims was themed: Mental Health and Your faith, held recently in Lekki, Lagos.

Shaykh Jamiu in his paper urged Muslims to always adopt a healthy lifestyle, never do harm to people, be loving and family-oriented; live life as it comes; be happy and keep good company.

Quoting from the Holy Quran, Imam Jamiu said: “You who believe, intoxicants and gambling, idolatrous practices, and [divining with] arrows are repugnant acts – Satan’s doing – shun them so that you may prosper,’ Q5:90.

“Do not kill yourselves; Allah is merciful to you,’ (Q4:29).

‘Do not contribute to your destruction with your own hand, but do good, for Allah loves those who do good,’ (Q2:195).

Dr Mashudat Bello-AbdulMojeed said mental health issue is common and rapidly increasing in recent times, ranging from anxiety to depression, drugs to alcoholism, internet and social network adversities, to dysfunctional family. Others according to her, are increasing rate of violence, materialistic youth, body image issues and life-long disabilities.

“There is no time to waste in mitigating the consequences of mental health issues among adolescents/youths and the future leaders. Responding to the needs of the youth in an ever changing world of advanced technology/modernisation is everybody’s responsibility, Muslims in particular.

Earlier, LEMU President, Alhaji Kamoru Omotosho said the rate of depression and other mental health challenges in the country is becoming alarming, adding that all hands must be on deck to reverse the situation.

“This workshop is our own way of creating further awareness about the need for paying adequate attention to the mental health of Nigerians

“The theme of today’s workshop, Mental Health and Your Faith, could not have come at a better time. While Nigeria is in a depressive situation, courtesy of the growing economic malaise, intractable insecurity and other social maladies bedeviling her, various studies (including the recent one conducted by the World Bank) have revealed that no fewer than 22 per cent of Nigerians are suffering from chronic depression. Many are also being confronted by other mental health challenges.

“If anything, the growing rate of suicide, homicide, drug addiction and other repercussions of depression in the country, lends credence to the worrisome mental health statistics.

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“Indications are that the situation might get worse over time if the socio-economic condition of the country remains debilitating, and no affirmative action is taken by the government to improve the mental health and general well-being of the citizenry.

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