Covid-19: 9mobile kicks off mental awareness talk series

[By VICTOR NZE]

Telecommunication company, 9mobile has unveiled date for its maiden edition of a health talk series themed; “Covid-19 and the new normal: Staying mentally healthy in the face of the challenges”.

The session which will be streamed live on the Instagram page of Instablog9ja on Thursday 25th March 2021 at 7pm will feature Hauwa Ojeifo, rights advocate and Executive Director at She Writes Woman.

Hauwa Ojeifo popularly tagged as the voice and face of mental health in Nigeria will discuss the concept and scope of mental health, signs, and symptoms, dealing with stigma and trauma associated with mental health and when and where to get help.

According to the 9mobile, the talk series is part of efforts to cushion the mental health impact of COVID-19 and curb the increasing rate of depression.

It would be recalled that the telco, last Thursday, organised a one-day capacity building session for journalists and media partners aimed at equipping them with the requisite skills knowledge needed to boost their reporting and adapt effectively to the dynamic media landscape.

The training session, themed; “Online Content Optimization – engaging millennial and Gen-Z audiences with storytelling,” which was held virtually via Zoom in observance of prescribed measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, was facilitated by multiple award-winning and two-time Emmy nominee investigative journalist and Regional Editor (West Africa), The Conversation Africa, Adejuwon Soyinka.

Commenting on the initiative, Executive Director, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, 9mobile, Abdulrahman Ado, remarked that mental health needs to be given top priority, especially in the face of the unprecedented loss, anxiety and disruption occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said, “As a business that cares about the wellbeing of its customers, it has become imperative for us to champion conversations around the issue of mental health, especially at a time when the world is going through one of the deadliest pandemics in history.  Covid-19 has exacted such heavy toll and triggered a spike in stress and anxiety-induced depression in people”.

“It is in light of this that we have teamed up with the Executive Director of She Writes Woman, Hauwa Ojeifo, to facilitate frank conversations around mental, emotional, and psychological health. With the session, we hope to empower Nigerians with the right information on how to respond effectively to issues surrounding mental health. We also hope that this effort will play a significant role in cutting the number of suicide-related deaths resulting from depression, he added.”

While reiterating the company’s continued commitment to initiatives that drive positive change, Ado added that the health talk series aligns with 9mobile’sfocus on health as one of its strategic pillars for social intervention.

According to findings by the World Health Organization, an estimated one in eight Nigerians suffers from mental illness. Anxiety is the most common mental illness. Experts believe that with more education and awareness around the issue, people will be informed on how best to manage their mental health and seek timely help where needed.

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