By Goodluck Ikiebe
A Non Governmental group, the Mental Health KAFE, has launched a Mental Health Toolkit for journalists in a bid to build an informed Media in Nigeria.
The launch was the highlight of a virtual capacity training for journalists across the country put together by MHKAFE, in partnership with the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) and the Nigeria Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria, APN.
The training, according to the organisers, aims to address the pressing need for accurate and responsible reporting on mental health issues in Nigeria.
The Founder of Mental Health KAFE (MHKAFE), Deborah Adenikinju, explained that the media has a deep impact on shaping public perceptions through the toolkit, adding that the toolkits aims to drive positive change in how mental health is portrayed and understood across Nigeria.
She urged participants to make use of the facts gained from the training to tackle the rising concerns of mental health in Nigeria.
During his lecture, renowned psychiatrist, Professor Taiwo James Obindu while quoting the World Health Organization (WHO), statistics that 30-60% of the global population will encounter some form of mental illness during their lifetimes, urged the media to remain vigilant in reporting on mental health issues.
Professor Taiwo James Obindu while addressing the challenges within the mental health landscape in Nigeria, identified key issues such as limited mental health professionals, inadequate facilities, stigma and discrimination, insufficient funding, and a lack of political commitment from the Federal Government.
The renowned psychiatrist, Professor Taiwo James Obindu forecasted that by the year 2030, one out of every four to five individuals in Nigeria would struggle with a mental health chaos if instant actions are not put in place to tackle the issue.