In places like Africa, mental health issues still attract a huge stigma. This is because psychological disorders are easily misunderstood and can be tricky to handle.
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This is further compounded by the tendency of many individuals to resort to unhelpful methods of treatment or label mental health issues as insanity. The trivialisation of mental health issues has made it difficult for sufferers to seek professional help or support from family and loved ones.
Given the alarming increase in suicide rates within the past few years, the need for mental health issues to receive more public attention has become direr than ever.
One platform looking to expedite this process is Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI). MANI is a non-governmental and youth-centric platform committed to combatting stigma and creating an environment that encourages and enables people to seek care for their mental health.
With over 1500 volunteers, MANI has established several projects in the form of educational programs for schools and offices, as well as, crisis support services which have handled over 15,000 cases.
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The platform has an extensive database of mental health programs and research projects from around the world on its website. This enables it to raise awareness about mental health issues and promote evidence-based treatment. With this data, members can share ideas, gain new insights into mental health issues, and implement strategies to tackle them.
The body under MANI responsible for operations in Africa is the Mental Health Innovation Network (MHIN). MHIN is a platform for African researchers, mental health innovators, practitioners, and policymakers. Click to join the platform.
Although mental health awareness in Africa is still miles from being perfect, bodies like MANI are hastening this process. Through strategic projects and initiatives, more action can be taken to eliminate stigma and enable people with mental health disorders to seek professional help.
Featured Image Source: mhinnovation
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