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Three in ten Nigerians suffer from mental health issues according to the country’s ministry of health. The country also ranks 15th in the world for suicide. What’s worse, resources to help those in need are scarce.
Nigeria only has eight public mental health hospitals, and just one of those facilities is in Northeastern Nigeria where people are still reeling from the traumas inflicted by the war between government forces and the Boko Haram armed group.
Since traditional services remain deficient, many mental health advocates have taken unconventional approaches to tackling the crisis. The nonprofit NEEM foundation offers counseling services via kekes, or motorized tricycle taxis, while counsellors with the Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI) use social media platforms like WhatsApp and Twitter to reach people.
We’ll ask a panel of mental health experts what more can be done to address Nigeria's deficit in care.
On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Dr. Abiye Iruayenama, @Neem_Foundation
Sociocognitive Research Psychologist & Programme Manager
Victor Ugo, @MentallyAwareNG
Founder, MANI (Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative)
Suicide, depression and the need for increased mental health awareness in Nigeria - The Guardian
In Nigeria, Twitter therapists and 'tuk-tuk' counselors make up for a gap in mental health care - Public Radio International
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