Woman's Own

January 12, 2023

We contribute our quota in keeping Nigerians mentally healthy —Dr Jibunoh

By Ebunoluwa Sessou

Dr Olayinka Jibunoh, having  built a 16-year career as a consultant psychiatrist and psychologist in Nigeria, founded a health tech start-up called The Freudian Centre, an employee and family assistance program, which offers mental health care services for the child and adolescent population, working class sector, geriatric age group and addiction treatment services for all age groups.

This practice also offers sexual and reproductive health services in addition to wellness and lifestyle modification services as part of its preventive health services. 

After a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from University of Lagos through an ExxonMobil Scholarship for academically outstanding undergraduates in STEM, she got an MSc. in Health Policy from The Imperial College, London.

In this interview with Boss Lady, she speaks on maintaining standards in business through innovation that would bring about positive growth and development in any organisation.  

What is Mental Health?

Mental health is defined as “a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community. In other words, it’s about feeling good psychologically, emotionally and socially. Our mental health affects the way we think, feel and behave. It also determines how we interact with others, make choices and cope with stress.

How has Mental Health and its awareness impacted our society?

Mental health is now more openly discussed than ever before. This can be credited to the many people who have courageously spoken out about their experiences, from celebrities to regular people. Because of their bravery, we’ve begun to see mental health as an issue that impacts everyone, not just a select few. Additionally, mental health is now more commonly understood. This is thanks in part to the increased focus on mental health in both the media and in schools. As a result, people are more likely to seek help for mental health issues and to understand when someone they know is struggling. Lastly, society has begun to see that mental health is just as important as physical health. This is reflected in the way that we allocate resources for mental health care.

Why is there a need for mental health care facilities and how does a mental health care facility help with our mental health?

Mental health care facilities provide much-needed support to those living with mental health conditions. Clients can receive care and treatment in a safe and supportive environment. They offer a wide range of services, including psychotherapy, counselling, medication management, conflict resolution, relationship management and social support enhancement. They also provide a place for people to come together and share their experiences. This can be incredibly helpful for those who feel alone or stigmatized. These facilities provide clients with the tools they need to build resilience and live fulfilling lives.

Speaking of mental health care facilities, you run a mental health care clinic called The Freudian Centre. Can you tell  us what it’s about?

We offer a wide variation of services, from the child and adolescent age group to the elderly. This includes children with learning, cognitive, behavioural and developmental disabilities; anyone living with neurotic conditions like anxiety disorders, phobias, OCD, depression and also psychotic conditions which impair judgment and reality testing. Behavioural changes associated with other chronic conditions also fall within our purview. Not to forget the elderly population who might require any form of behavioural therapy, treatment or nursing care for illnesses associated with ageing. For our wide range of services, our preferred model is the bio-psycho-social and spiritual model, which offers holistic care to our clients. It’s pertinent to state that in collaboration with