Mental Health Awareness Virtual Conference 2021

“On 30th April and 1st May 2021, nearly 40 decision makers, service providers and supporters such as health and youth focused NGOs, teachers, counsellors,  and other stakeholders from local community especially those from low resource setting areas attended the virtual event and joined the global campaign for Mental Health Promotion in developing regions organized by Vortex Global Consultancy Ltd. London, to discuss and bring the mental health services in the mainstream.” Thecitypulsenews reports.

The 1st day of the event started with a brief overview of the issue and the need of this event by Ms. Blessing. E. who is a consultant at Vortex Global Consultancy Ltd. She emphasized that;

1. Promotion of mental health hasn’t been made a priority in developing countries in the SDG era.

2. Institutionalisation of the mentally ill is still being prioritised over community efforts and promotion and well-being in developing countries.

She highlighted that little to no emphasis has been put on community involvement and Mental Health education in Primary Health Care facilities.

According to her, mental health is still largely unaddressed, misconceptions have persisted for decades, and stereotypes have reduced health seeking behaviour.

As a global public health group, she invited everyone to join their five-year initiative, which is pioneering support for governments, agencies, and policymakers to prioritise mental health re-education and promotion, standardising and implementation of policies and forging ahead with clear objective to the achieving of Healthy Mental states and well-being.

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Mr. Kolawale, a child and youth security advocate from Nigeria’s South Western Region, was also invited to give a presentation on the importance and current state of adolescent mental health,
which is a global health issue. He emphasised many facets of this major global concern, including drug abuse, suicide, unemployment, poverty, and a shortage of basic primary healthcare services in Sub-Saharan Africa. He also emphasised various thematic topics such as human trafficking, dispute resolution, forced labour, child exploitation, and access to justice for victims of human trafficking in
such areas.

Blessing. E. began the second day of the event by addressing people who work at enforcing policies within countries or in societies and organisations to prioritise the effects of what they have in their policies about mental wellbeing and motivate communities with re-education and promotion activities that are part of free basic health care, etc.

Dr. Nancy, a clinical psychologist in London, was invited to present a session on Mental Health in the Workplaces and Educational Institutions. She is deeply committed to assisting minority ethnic groups in gaining access to culturally specific psychological therapies.

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While speaking, she emphasised the value of mental health services and policies in workplaces and educational institutions in her presentation.

She stated that mental health problems influence companies and their workers.

Furthermore, she mentioned that children and adolescents who face socioeconomic disadvantages such as poverty or lack of sufficient health or social services, which are prevalent in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), are more likely to develop mental health problems, and attempts to address the mental health needs of children and adolescents remain a neglected issue.

Lastly, Dr. Franklin shared his expertise on WHO Mental Health action plan (2013-2020) and discussed the gaps that exists in developing countries according to WHO Mental Health related data.

He is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Hull and an Associate Lecturer at the University of Sunderland in London. He is passionate about strengthening health institutions to be
more responsive to young people’s mental and reproductive health needs in low- and mid-income countries.

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During his talk, he also mentioned a lack of community empowerment to handle Mental
Health Education and Care. He discussed how to incorporate mental health policies into their health programmes, the value of developing standardised plans to be incorporated in primary care, and the
capacity of outreach workers to provide basic education and awareness to educate individuals and families and improve demands.

He concluded his session by presenting all event participants as key players in policy development at the community level.

The talks were accompanied by a question-and-answer session on both days. Concerns were expressed about the causes of depression and how to persuade young people to be content with what they have without harming their feelings. Participants also asked about the methodologies that
can be used to increase youth mental health literacy.

Mental Health Awareness Virtual Conference 2021

The event was met with great success and highlighted the importance of raising Mental Health Awareness and the role of specific policies targeting mental health promotion of disaggregated
groups that can shape the care on individuals and reduced institutionalisation.