The Lagos State Ministry of Health in partnership with Sisterhood of Success Women in Nigeria (SOSWIN), a non-governmental organization (NGO) that is focused on Borderline Personality Disorder enlightenment and advocacy is set to host a Mental Health Fair.
The event which is scheduled for February 15th, 2020 will be held at the Igbobi College playing ground.
In a statement issued by the partnering NGO, SOSWIN, the expected attendees will be no lesser than two thousand (2,000) including representatives of the government, traditional rulers, students, corporate organizations and others.
There will be plenary sessions including panellists who are certified clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, physical health coaches and industry leaders.
There will be master class, group therapy counselling on emotional abuse, postpartum depression and substance abuse, Yoga, exhibitions, music, games, free medical check-up, master classes and many more.
The convener Mental Health Fair, Simbiat Awe, disclosed that the major aim of SOSWIN is to raise African young leaders who will be able to better manage their emotions and become problem solvers, critical thinkers and social reformers in Nigeria and beyond.
According to her, the Mental Health Advocacy which started in 2014 during her NYSC service was inspired by personal experience.
“I started to exhibit more than the 5 traits of Borderline Personality Disorder which ruined interpersonal relationships and made me attempt suicide 3 times. I was subsequently diagnosed with BPD in 2017”.
“The stigma of being tagged ’emotionally unstable’ and the state of hopelessness that comes with it geared me to build a foundation that will address this misdiagnosed medical condition and sensitize millions of youths who do not know that they are even suffering from this disorder.
“And because BPD is the only personality disorder to have suicidal or self-injurious behaviour among its diagnostic criteria, I felt an urgent need to conduct intervention programs to change the mindset of the Nigerian youths and provide measures to cope with life stresses
“One in four Nigerians suffer from mental illness but help is stiffened by tight budgets, lack of skilled personnel in Nigeria and the heightened level of stigmatization portrayed by citizens.
“The Government, as the bedrock for creating policies and values that will lead the socio-economic and health development plan in the country needs to intervene in this space and support organizations, NGOs, social enterprises that are focused on mental health in conducting more intervention programs to cause a change in the health care system.”
Simbiat said the organisation is set to counsel and educate 50,000 young Africans on Borderline Personality Disorder through advocacy and empowerment before 2025.