By Edith Ike-Eboh
Gatefield, a public strategy firm and the Association of Psychiatrists of Nigeria have launched new micro movie series to raise awareness on mental health issues affecting young Nigerians.
The group disclosed this in a statement by Ms Ebiuwairo Uwagboe, Gatefeild’s Media and Communication specialist, in Abuja on Sunday
30 per cent of people living in Nigeria are suffering from at least one mental health illness, according to a World Health Organisation report.
Among the most impacted are Nigeria’s youth population, who are largely unable to access required care and lack sufficient information to tackle these challenges.
She said that the group joined forces in a bid to tackle the challenge with the release of a series of micro movies about mental health issues.
She noted that the issues covered by the series themed “Not Exactly” include: Depression, Bipolar Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
“Not Exactly was screened on Thursday at Gatefield TV’s studios in Abuja before a private audience comprising mental health professionals, diplomats, international development professionals, entertainers and young digital media influencers,’’ it said.
Speaking during the panel session after the screening of the event, a panelist, Ms Anto Lecky, former reality TV star (Big Brother Nigeria) advocated expansion of the scope of the advocacy.
Lecky, also Nigeria’s ambassador for the global “Speak Your Mind” campaign, suggested that the messages should be translated into local dialects and that cultural and religious leaders should be integrated.
“Religious leaders are very important in spreading awareness about mental health illnesses.
“We are seeing more religious leaders preaching about us taking better care of our mental health and people are starting to listen.
“If they work together with the government and other civil organisations, more people will be aware of mental health,” she noted.
Also, Dr Thank God Ocheho, a Psychiatrist from the NEEM foundation and a mental health activist, Aisha Sambo corroborated to the need to expand awareness.
Earlier, Adewunmi Emoruwa, the Lead Strategist at Gatefield noted that the movies are part of what was expected to be a sustained campaign in partnership with Nigeria’s psychiatry association.
“Our plan for now is to expand the reach of this vital message by seeking out more partners and collaborators.
“With less than 200 psychiatrists in Nigeria according to a 2016 report, the long-term objective of our campaign will be to ensure that there is a significant policy change to address these institutional gaps,” he said.
The four-part micro movie series aims to reduce the stigma of mental health and foster empathy for people struggling with it.
The movie was directed by Goodnews Anaro, Multimedia Content Lead at Gatefield.
The series was co-produced by Ebiuwa Uwagboe, Campaign Specialist and Nichole Onoja, Audience Engagement Officer at the firm. (NAN)