It always starts with not knowing, doesn’t it? Especially when excuses become likely but as we’ve all come to accept, ignorance isn’t an excuse anymore.
Let’s task our minds a bit.
Imagine waking up to find that by no fault of yours, you can no longer smile; you feel unnecessary guilt; don’t feel like doing anything at all; and you are getting irritated far too easier than normal. You don’t have a fever; you are not coughing, but somehow food no longer appeals to you.
Imagine having to feel that way for a week, then a month, then some more.
Imagine not knowing why exactly you feel that way or have anyone to talk to about your issues.
Imagine finding out that you are indeed, sick, and still not be able to tell someone about it.
Then the voices in your head start to have a voice. They torment you with persecutory thought insertions. Insomnia follows; no interest in anything pleasurable.
Imagine finding out about a terminal illness, but not having someone to take care of you because of societal stereotypes.
That’s just a glimpse into what people suffering from mental illnesses have to deal with and more so, in this part of the world.
Contrary to popular opinion, mental illness isn’t madness. Yes, shocking. What’s actually shocking is that there are more mentally ill people at home than on the streets and in the markets. It’s clear that people need to start taking their mental health serious.
Mental illness is likened to the cancer of the mind; one that has been cruelly and unfairly neglected in our society even with the advent of civilization and education. We need to do more. We need to understand that with the way the world is set up right now, it’s important to be in optimal health; physically, and mentally. There’s the need for everyone to agree that health isn’t complete if we can’t maintain healthy minds.
In making conscious efforts to create awareness and take a stand to end stigma, a few of us decided to institute a platform to reach out as advocates for mental health. We formed a non-governmental organization whose primary goal is to take advantage of the reach that social media offers to enlighten people about the importance of maintaining optimal mental health.
Using campaigns that run every other month and sometimes throughout the year, we will look to engage with people, using both online and offline events.
We hope to impact people’s line of thoughts positively even as we advocate for greater focus on our mental health by the government.
To become a part of this great and long overdue cause, do visit:
www.mentallyaware.org to volunteer and get involved with our campaigns.
Also, follow our social media accounts:
@mentallyawareng twitter and instagram
And like our page on Facebook – MentallyawareNG.