On October 10, the world will mark, World Mental Health Day. It is marked every year to raise awareness about mental health around the world and to mobilize efforts to support those experiencing mental health issues. This campaign has been spearheaded by the World Health Organization (WHO) ince 2013. The theme for this year, according to the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH), is “Make mental health for all a global priority.”
“A major challenge accessing mental healthcare is stigmatization” says Dr Fisayo Adesokun, consultant psychiatrist at the University of Port Harcourt. He says that mental health and physical health are complementary and should not be seen as a taboo subject. In the same vein, Oye Gureje, a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Ibadan said that caregivers, formal and informal, provide the most intensive care, and they are usually taxed physically, emotionally and financially. These ones need to be cared for, so as to avoid creating more mental health problems.
Jehovah’s Witnesses have made the issue of mental health a global priority. In addition to their Bible based global message of hope, their official website, jw.org, is filled with publications on how to cope with mental health and how family members and friends can provide support. The website is translated into some 1,060 languages.
The spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Nigeria, Olusegun Eroyemi, notes that there is a lack of awareness about mental health, and people easily attribute the condition to various factors that only worsen the plight of victims. “Mental health can be managed, and care givers need care,” Eroyemi said. According to him, the jw.org website provides materials in a variety of languages on subjects like: “Do You Need Tranquilizers to Cope?”, “How to Deal with Isolation”, “What You Should Know About Mental Disorders”, “Teen Depression—Why?” Additionally, there are videos and real-life stories that are helpful. These materials can be downloaded for free. Eroyemi says, “as life becomes more difficult to cope with, the effect on mental health becomes more observable.” He explains that Jehovah’s Witnesses will continue to share the Bible’s comforting message that gives hope to everyone. All are invited to visit www.jw.org and use the resources available to cope with mental health and provide the needed care for affected persons.