By Gabriel Olawale
Worried by the alarming rate of suicide in Africa, Twitter is teaming up with organisations in Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya in towards addressing the burden.
The new initiative is designed to make it easier for people to find support resources online for issues on suicide or self-harm on Twitter.
The notification includes contact details of the South African Depression and Anxiety Group, SADAG, in South Africa; Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative, MANI, in Nigeria, and Amref Health Africa in Kenya.
Speaking on the concept, Head of Public Policy for Sub-Saharan Africa, Twitter, Emmanuel Lubanzadio said that the open Twitter community can be an important source of real-time support for anyone struggling with thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
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“Addressing mental health requires collaboration between all stakeholders – public, private, and not-for-profit. We’re pleased to partner with SADAG, MANI, and Amref Health Africa to encourage people in need to reach out for help, and are grateful for their collaboration and support.”
Founder of MANI, Victor Ugo, said it was founded in 2016, to serve as Nigeria’s most influential youth-led mental health network and biggest provider of crisis support services for mental health.
“Prior to this moment, we had focused on a sustained approach of mental health education to help Twitter users in Nigeria identify as ‘spotters’ and share with us, Tweets that they come across which suggest possible suicide risk or mental health crisis.
“So far, this has been an effective enough approach, but we would love to reach more users and on time too and so we are excited to partner with Twitter to connect users in Nigeria needing support with their mental health to our services in real-time and on time.”